How to Save on Your Energy Costs
The plummeting temperatures of winter, along with shorter days, can hike your energy costs. What are you going to do about it? Here are some suggestions from Charter College, but we bet you have some tricks of your own. Care to share?
Your heating system: Hire an HVAC hero to check out your heating unit and give it a tune up. HVAC experts can teach you the importance of a well-maintained HVAC system and give you tips and tricks for winter energy savings.
Your thermostat: Are you heating an empty home? You can save as much as 10 percent by lowering the temperature back 7°-10°F for the hours you’re not at home. Use a programmable thermostat and lower the temps when you sleep or while you’re away, and you’ll save big time. Consider lowering the temperature a few degrees even when you are home and you’ll have a great excuse to wear some cozy winter sweaters.
Fireplaces: If you have a fireplace, don’t use it. They give you the illusion of heat, but not its reality. A lit fireplace sucks up 24,000 cubic feet of heated air from your home per hour,1 while leaking in cold air. When your fireplace is not in use, make certain the damper is completely shut and the fireplace doors are tightly sealed.
Water heater: Who doesn’t love a nice hot shower on a cool winter morning? But those long, hot showers can cost you. The cost to heat water in your home accounts for between 14%-18% of your utility bill2 and old and inefficient heaters can cost even more. If you want to get the most from your water heater without spending a fortune, lower its temp to 120° F. Take shorter showers and wash clothes in cold water. And follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for tank and pipe insulation.
Insulation: Check out your attic insulation and make sure it’s up to the latest code for thickness. Seal up any openings and air gaps around doors, windows, plumbing, and wiring. Anywhere cold air can enter, warm air can exit. Use caulking and weather stripping, and install door sweeps to catch the air in the gap between door and floor. For added insulation, use plastic window sealers that are cheap and easy to install and can be quickly removed come springtime.
At Charter College, we know saving money can be a challenge. And energy is only one area where the costs can add up. Check out more money savings tips here.