Autumn is in full swing, but Old Man Winter will be in town before you know it! Forecasters are predicting an especially cold and snowy winter this year, which means you and your family could end up carrying the burden of increased heating costs. By preparing your home with our energy saving tips, we can help you avoid costly energy bills this winter.
- Motion Detection Light Switches: Update low foot traffic rooms with motion detection light switches. Lights in areas like the garage, guest rooms, storage rooms, kids’ rooms, kids’ bathrooms, pantries, etc. tend to get left on accidentally, especially when you have children. Motion detection light switches will activate when you need them, and stay dark when you don’t.
- Fluorescent Bulbs: You’ve probably heard this tip before, but you may not know the energy savings you could be getting! According to Green America, lighting accounts for up to a quarter of a household’s energy source. Swap old incandescent light bulbs with new fluorescent bulbs. These new bulbs use about 10 percent of the energy as traditional bulbs and last 8 to 12 times longer! So even though they might cost a little more up front, in the end they are much more cost effective and energy efficient.
- Inspections: Get your furnace or boiler inspected now instead of begging for service in the dead of winter. If your boiler blows or your furnace goes out during peak demand, chances are the maintenance costs will peak as well. It’s more cost effective to tune up your utilities proactively than it is to do costly repairs or replacement down the road.
- Unplug Utilities: Did you know that even when small appliances are turned off, if they are plugged in they are still drawing energy!? What’s commonly referred to as the “vampire load” can be avoided by simply unplugging! Some small appliances that get used sparingly and could be unplugged to save energy include printers, speakers, toaster, computer chargers, guest room TV’s and lamps.
- Interior Temperature: Adjust your thermostat to the lowest, yet most comfortable setting and throw on your favorite sweater or snuggle up under a cozy blanket. And why not open the blinds and let the sunshine in while you’re at it? Wearing extra layers and lighting/warming your home with sunlight are both 100 percent cost-free ways to save energy!
- Door + Window Seals: Hundreds of dollars could be escaping between your doors and windows each year. Keep the drafts low by caulking your windows or applying weather stripping. With doors, adding weather seal strips around the perimeter can help keep a tight seal when closed. And while it’s no match for properly weather stripping, a door draft stopper is an inexpensive way to keep drafts out of your home.
- Insulate. Insulate. Insulate: Adding insulation to your home is the most common recommendation energy auditors make. Start by insulating spaces like your basement and attic to help keep warm air inside and cold air outside. There are many insulation options available on the market to make it easier to seal up your home. If you need recommendations on the best option, let us know! We’re happy to offer some info or get you in touch with one of our trusted providers.
An adjustment here and a modification there will have you well on your way to a cozy winter that won’t leave you speechless when the utility bill arrives.
Are you interested in using renewable resources to offset your energy needs? It’s important to reduce your footprint before you start covering your footprint. We hope these tips get you – and your energy bills – going in the right direction! If you’d like to discuss adding solar energy to your home, get in touch!