As the Leaves Fall, So Can Your Energy Bill                                         

By: Andy Farmer
October 2016, ENDEAVOR  News Magazine

 

Andy Farmer, Virginia Energy SenseSummer is winding down and we’re starting to experience some of those wonderful days that are the hallmark of late summer and early fall in Virginia.  The sky is a beautiful blue and is covered with white clouds.  The air is crisp and pure as temperatures drop each evening, even as the heat seems to linger during the days as summer takes its last few breaths.  Soon leaves will begin to fall and so can your energy bill.

While many people use the early weeks of fall to improve their lawns and landscaping, the cooler temperatures present a great opportunity to take steps to make your home and workplace more energy efficient, helping you or your business reduce the amount spent on power bills.

Virginia Energy Sense (VES), the Commonwealth’s energy education program is tasked with raising awareness among our citizens.  Our goal is to help Virginia meet its goal of reducing electric energy consumption 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2020.  Energy efficiency and energy conservation are the most affordable, available tools to achieve this goal.

VES is committed to helping Virginians understand their energy use and what they can do to save energy easily and cost effectively. Here are some ideas and tips you can use at home and your workplace, a number of which are best performed in the mild temperatures of the fall weather since they involve working on the outside of your home or workplace, including in attics and basements or crawl spaces, as temperatures are too extreme in the summer or winter to perform these tasks.

Key Tips for Improvements During Cool Fall Weather

  • Seal leaks around windows, doors, and outlets with weather-stripping or caulk.
  • Examine insulation in accessible areas (attic, basement, unfinished storage areas) of your home or office space and consider adding additional insulation if needed.
  • Look at exposed HVAC ductwork and check for seams and cracks in connections and use HVAC tape to seal those leaks, making your system more efficient.
  • Use fans to circulate air inside without using air conditioning in the waning days of summer and early fall.

Key Tips That Can Be Done Any Time at Home or the Workplace

  • Turn off your lights when not in use and consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
  • Install sensors or outdoor photo cells to automatically turn lights off and on.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. If you already have a programmable thermostat, learn how to use it so you can raise and lower temperatures around your home or workplace schedule.
  • Have HVAC systems professionally serviced to ensure they are running efficiently.
  • Replace HVAC air filters monthly as dirty filters cause systems to run below peak efficiency.
  • Turn off appliances and equipment when not in use.
  • Use or purchase energy efficient computers, televisions, and other office equipment.
  • Make sure radiators, air intake vents, etc., are not obstructed so that air can flow freely.

You can learn more online about how to save energy at work (http://www.virginiaenergysense.org/category/at-work-tips/) and home (http://www.virginiaenergysense.org/category/at-home-tips/) to cut down on your fall and early winter energy costs.

Following these easy pointers will save you and your business money and energy, which will allow you to use the money you save in other ways to benefit your business or household.  And by taking these steps, you will also be helping Virginia reach its goal of reducing electric energy consumption 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2020.

You can visit http://www.virginiaenergysense.org/ to learn more about VES and to discover other ways to make your home and business even more energy efficient.

 

 

This article was first published in the October 2016 ENDEAVOR News Magazine.  For more stories please see:  ENDEAVOR
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