Keep Home Energy Savings Going This Fall
- October 10, 2014
Throughout the year, every responsible homeowner is determined to save energy, whether it’s for the betterment of the environment, their pocketbook or both. The same is true with the fall season, which is why we’ve compiled some of our favorite fall energy savings tips for you.
Helpful Hints that Save Energy
- Get your furnace serviced – You should hire a professional technician to give your furnace a tune-up every year. This will maintain its energy efficiency and help the entire system last longer before replacement is necessary.
- Pick up a new thermostat – Programmable and WiFi thermostats allow you to control heating and cooling needs with preset times of operation. As an added bonus, WiFi models can be accessed remotely through an Internet connection.
- Time to replace light bulbs – Incandescent bulbs have been used for decades to light our homes, but they’re being pushed out by more energy-efficient types that include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Fall energy savings won’t be complete if you don’t replace at least most of the traditional bulbs.
- Learn to conserve water – Lowering water usage will often lower energy usage as well due to the necessary heating, giving you a one-two punch. You can start by limiting showers to five minutes or less. Then make sure that you only wash dishes or clothes when you have a full load. In fact, this latter fall energy savings tip will also save you electricity.
- Keep it at 68 degrees – Whenever possible, your goal should be to keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees if you or someone else is at home. This temperature is comfortable for most people and will keep your energy expenditure to an acceptable level.
- Try to go lower – If possible, lower the thermostat below 68 degrees. For every degree you can bear to lower it, you’ll save around 2 percent on heating costs.
- Install a zoning system – For the uninitiated, a zoning system allows you to designate areas of your home as “zones” and then concentrate heating efforts in only the areas that you choose. This is a great solution if you live in a multi-story home or have unique heating or cooling requirements, such as large south-facing windows or high ceilings.
- Increase insulation – If the attic, basement or exterior walls don’t have enough insulation, heat will escape, causing the furnace to run more often. Add some insulation to the needed areas and you’re golden.
- Shut the fireplace damper – If you leave the damper open when the fireplace isn’t being used, it’s akin to having a window open.
- Use blankets and sweaters – If the weather isn’t too cold inside, bundling up in blankets and sweaters in lieu of firing up the furnace will save you a substantial amount of energy and money.
- Change the furnace filter – A dirty air filter will negatively affect the furnace’s energy efficiency and overall performance. Change it every month or two, depending on how quickly it gets clogged.
- Switch ceiling fan direction – When the weather turns cold, ceiling fans should be running clockwise. This will push warm air that’s risen to the ceiling back toward the floor. Distributing the heat in this manner can lower energy usage and improve your home’s comfort level.
- Get free heat from the sun – Opening the blinds or curtains of south-facing windows on sunny days will allow you to take advantage of free sunlight. It’s also a good idea to keep these windows clean to maximize the rays’ effects.
- Seal doors and windows – Applying caulking or weatherstripping around doors and windows will stop air from leaking out, which is a leading cause of energy waste.
- Upgrade to a new furnace – If your current system is showing its age, consider upgrading to a new furnace before colder weather sets in. Despite the initial cost, newer models will save you money because they’re more energy-efficient. Just remember to look for the Energy Star label to get the most value for your money.
For more expert advice on fall energy savings or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the professionals at Comfort Services, Inc. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Aberdeen, Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Sandford, Laurinburg, Whispering Pines and surrounding areas since 1976.
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