Winter is here! And so is the cold weather and high heating bills. Read on to see how you can save as much as 30%.
Winter can be a warm season…the holidays, the new year, a pretty snow fall. But the cold weather soon follows. At Charles Rutenberg Realty Long Island, we want to let you know all the ways you can cut energy and heating costs this winter without having to spend a lot of money.
There are a handful of simple ways to prep your home for the winter. These tips will save you money and turn a white winter into a green one! Source: Energy Star’s Winter Tips
- Check caulking around windows and door frames for leaks and fill them. Inspect seals around doors and windows and add new weather stripping as necessary — if you can slide a dollar bill easily through the gap you are losing heat, energy and money
- “Tune-up” your heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Even a new ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC system, like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. A yearly “maintenance contract” costs as little as $100 depending on the building and HVAC system, but can save even more than this.
- Change, or clean if reusable, your HVAC system’s air filters regularly. These filters cost as little as $2 each but a dirty filter can waste up to $5 per month in energy. Dirty filters increase resistance and cause equipment to work harder.
- Install programmable thermostats. Modern solid-state electronic programmable thermostats can optimize HVAC operations 24/7, based on your needs. A “smart thermostat” can turn on the HVAC before you arrive and off after you leave, instead of heating or cooling all night or on weekends. These thermostats cost between $25 and $150 but can cut HVAC costs by up to 30 percent.
- Do you have ceiling fans? Check the owner’s manual to see if they are reversible. If not, consider reversible ceiling fans, which can be reversed in the winter to allow the warmer air that accumulates near the ceiling to be pushed back down.
- Are your water heater and pipes insulated? Insulation will decrease your energy consumption and may even allow you to turn the temperature back and still maintain comfortable water temperatures at points of use, such as faucets and showers. If your water heater is an older, uninsulated unit, consider adding a water heater blanket to prevent heat loss from the tank.
- Set the water temperature on your water heater only as hot as needed (110–120 degrees Fahrenheit) to save energy.
- Use the sun to your advantage! During the heating season, with the sun low in the south, open or uncover unobstructed southern windows to increase the interior temperature, and close them at night to help retain the warmth.
Don’t forget to consider buying ENERGY STAR qualified equipment for your home. The ENERGY STAR label indicates the most efficient appliances and equipment. These products will not only save you money on bills, but you may qualify for rebates too! Click here to learn more about Energy Star Qualified Produts.
Here’s a few more credible resources giving you tips, insight, details and more on how to keep your home efficient.
Energy Star’s Winter Tips: Energy Star is one of the prime sources for great ideas. Their website full of winter tips for those looking to maximize their homes’ energy efficiency is chock full of fantastic ideas, from window caulking to reversing your ceiling fan to push warm air down from the ceiling to you!
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips: Want to make sure you didn’t miss anything with Energy Star’s helpful list of tips? Another great and fully reliable source is the Department of Energy’s website, where you can find more energy-efficiency tips for your home that you can start using as early as right now.
The Daily Green’s 19 Easy Home Winterization Projects: A simple and straightforward internet Top Easiest list, and The Daily Green has got you covered. These 19 simple winterizing projects are sure to keep your home more energy-efficient and reduce your heating bills all winter long.
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