The fall and winter seasons mean colder weather, and in many parts of the country, that typically means higher energy bills to keep homes warm. Luckily, you can take some steps to help reduce your energy usage, avoid a major spike in electricity costs, and remain comfortable during the chilly months.
To get started, check out these 10 energy-saving tips from Massachusetts-based 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric:
1. Find and seal leaks. Cold air can leak into the home through minor cracks and gaps in windows and doorways. Seal any gaps with caulk or weather-stripping.
2. Check the heating system’s efficiency. Many older homes have inefficient and faulty heating systems that use extra energy and waste money. If you notice uneven heating or the system needs frequent repairs, schedule an inspection by a professional.
3. Use energy-efficient holiday lights. The pretty holiday lights that decorate your home can burn electricity. Invest in LED lights to minimize energy usage, and look for ENERGY STAR-certified products.
4. Consider a programmable thermostat. During cold weather, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable when you’re at home during waking hours. Reducing the heat by only a few degrees when you’re sleeping or out of the house will help save money.
5. Reduce heat loss through the fireplace. If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when it’s not in use. Close the doors leading into the room when a fire is kindled and lower the thermostat temperature. If you never use your fireplace, seal the flue.
6. Take advantage of sunlight. Naturally heat your home by opening curtains on south-facing windows during the day. Close curtains at night to protect your home from losing heat through the windows.
7. Cover drafty windows. If your home doesn’t have energy-efficient windows, tightly seal them with clear plastic sheets covering the frames.
8. Reduce water heating costs. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also consider installing a tankless water heater that heats water as needed, saving costs in the long run.
9. Replace air filters. Remember to replace air filters regularly. Dirty or clogged air filters force your heating system to work harder for proper airflow, using extra energy and raising costs.
10. Consider a ductless mini-split heating system. This is a good option if the heating is uneven throughout your house. It allows you to control the temperature in individual rooms or spaces, is easy to install, and is energy efficient to help save on energy costs.