How to Conserve Energy this Winter
With cold weather on its way, now’s the time to start thinking about how to conserve energy this winter. Follow these tips to save big.
Adjust the Thermostat
The most obvious way to save is to turn down the temperature. Here’s how to set your thermostat for savings without sacrificing comfort:
- Set the temperature to 68 degrees: This is a comfortable temperature if you dress for the season. This setting saves about 8 percent compared to keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees.
- Program setbacks: When you’re away or sleeping, set the temperature back at least 5 degrees. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set automatic recovery periods so you don’t come home or wake up to an icebox.
- Run a humidifier: Since less moisture evaporates from your skin when the air is already humid, running a humidifier makes the air feel warmer. This trick allows you to turn down the temperature one or two degrees, which promotes energy savings, without discomfort.
- Avoid cranking up the temperature: If you feel a little cold, put on a blanket or extra layer of clothing. If that’s not enough, then raise the temperature by one degree. Cranking up the heat won’t warm your home any faster. It only wastes money if you surpass the ideal temperature.
Warm Up in Other Ways
Your furnace isn’t the only option for heating your home:
- Open the curtains: On sunny days, let the rays pour in, providing free light and heat. Remember to close the curtains at night to insulate the windows.
- Reverse the ceiling fan: Warm air gets trapped near the ceiling. Send it back down by reversing the fan’s direction and running it on low.
- Bake when it’s chilly outside: If you love making cookies and dessert breads, make an effort to coincide your baking with chilly outdoor temperatures. This way, you enjoy delicious comfort foods and warm your home with the oven at the same time.
Seal and Insulate
Inadequate insulation and air leaks allow cold air from outside to infiltrate your home. Tighten things up with these energy conservation tips:
- Add weatherstripping and caulk to leaky doors and windows: To test air tightness, slip a dollar bill into a window or door. If the seal is good, it should be impossible to remove the bill without opening the window or door. If the dollar slides around or falls out, replace the weatherstripping. Add caulk to cracks around windows and doors while you’re at it.
- Boost attic insulation: As heat rises, a poorly insulated attic is allows the air to leak out. Prevent this by adding another layer of attic insulation.
Maintain Your Furnace
The furnace is your primary source of heat. Keep it in good working order with these tips:
- Schedule annual preventative maintenance: Fall furnace maintenance helps ensure your equipment runs smoothly all season long. A professional tune-up includes lubricating moving parts, cleaning the blower motor, inspecting the heat exchanger, checking the fuel line and changing the furnace filter.
- Check the filter monthly: Continue checking the air filter throughout the heating season and change it when it becomes clogged with dirt. This can improve energy efficiency by 5 percent.
- Look into a replacement when the time comes: Once your furnace nears the ends of its life, consider a high-efficiency furnace replacement to bring your energy bills back down. You’ll pay for the upfront investment after a few years of energy-efficient performance.
With these tips to conserve energy this winter, you’re ready to save big as the seasons change. For more useful tips, or to schedule furnace services, contact Aire Serv® today.