With energy prices on the rise, fall is the perfect time to make some simple adjustments that can end up saving you money this winter. These fall and winter energy-saving tips can reduce heating bills without compromising comfort. With all the school and holiday expense this time of year, it’s nice to have an area in your life that can actually save you money.
If you haven’t already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.
Also check out no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy during the spring and summer.
Let the Sunshine In
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Cover Your Windows
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
- Consider storm windows or more efficient windows.
Turn Down the Heat
- Adjust your thermostat at or below 68 degrees. This simple adjustment could save you $30 a month on your energy bill. Caution: Don’t set the thermostat more than 5 degrees cooler than the normal rating when you’re away because of the amount of energy you’ll need to heat it back up.
- Lower your dishwasher and washing machine temperatures.
Find and Seal Leaks
- Seal the air leaks around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Maintain Your Heating System
- Seal and insulate duct work. Leaky ducts account for up to 40 percent of the air inside leaking out before it reaches your rooms. Seal loose joints with mastic duct sealant. Insulate ducts in crawl spaces, attics, and other unconditioned areas to keep the air inside warm and prevent mold growth from condensation
- Regularly clean warm air registers, baseboard heaters and/or radiators. Make sure that carpeting, furniture or draperies are not blocking them.
- Replace filters once a month or as needed.
- Wood and Pellet Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood and pellet burning appliances.
Lower Your Water Heating Costs
- Lower the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. Higher settings cost more, increase the risk of scalding, and promote sediment buildup and corrosion in the heater’s tank.
- Insulate the water heater tank and the exposed cold and hot water pipes to save up to 9 percent on water heating.
- Use cold water to wash clothes to save money and preserve fabrics
Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs
- Use LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
- Wait until dark to turn on your Christmas lights and then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal to aim for. Do you have trouble remembering to turn your lights on and off? Then, set a timer, and forget about it.
- Turn off room lights when the Christmas tree is lit. This should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room and it’s festive.