Fall is here and winter is fast approaching, and with them comes the shift from warm weather to cold. With this change in temperature comes an increase in monthly utility bills. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep the higher payments to a minimum, and possibly reduce your energy bills, all courtesy of these easy energy saving tips.
Winter and Fall Energy Efficiency
In addition to colder weather taking a bite out of your monthly budget, fall and winter are also associated with holiday festivities and gift giving. Between the two, your wallet can quickly take a beating. This time of year it is essential to cut corners where you can and one of the simplest ways to do so is to reduce the amount of energy waste in your home.
Perhaps the best step you can take when trying to make your home more energy efficient is to call in the experts – and by experts, we mean a home energy auditor. These individuals are trained and certified in home energy audits, which, in layman’s terms basically means they look for areas in your house where energy is being wasted. This includes air leaks, old energy-hungry appliances and poor HVAC system function.
The cost for an energy audit varies by state, but it will easily pay for itself in the amount of money you will save each year. Not to mention the fact that your home will be more comfortable and the temperature will be easier to regulate.
In some instances, an energy auditor will be able to perform the work for you or have references for a company that can. Either way, the report he gives you is only as good as the follow-up, so make sure you take the advice to heart where budget permits.
A costless way to warm up your home without cranking up the heater or thermostat is to let nature take its course: open curtains in your home during the day and let the sunlight heat up your home. You would be surprised how well this works. In addition, you may want to seal any windows where you feel a draft coming through, as these leaks allow warm air to exit the home and lead to a chillier atmosphere.
Another step you can (and should) take is to have your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system maintained at the change of each season. Just like your automobile, your heating and cooling system requires preventative maintenance to help keep it functioning properly and, as an added benefit, increase the lifespan of the unit. This is more than just changing the filter (though you should do this as well), so we recommend calling an HVAC technician to service your equipment. As a bonus tip, call them before winter sets in; waiting until the last minute means your system could fail during their busiest season, leaving you in the lurch and in a very cold spot!
Other ways to keep warm during the winter and fall and save on energy bills include:
- Wear a sweater and cuddle up in a blanket instead of turning up the thermostat
- Run ceiling fans in reverse to push warm air back into the room (remember, warm air rises)
- Use LED lights, especially for holiday lights and decorations
- Install energy-efficient appliances