On the Energy Front: 
Winterize Your Home this Winter to Save Energy

By:  Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer, Annandale Energy

Virginia Energy Sense conducts survey research each year to capture the latest data about where Virginians stand on saving energy at home. In this year’s research findings, highlighted in our infographic available on our website, we were excited to see that the percentage of Virginians who want to be more energy efficient rose from 22% in 2017 to 30% in 2019!

We hope to see that number continue to climb through 2020 as we seek to help Virginia reach its goal of reducing electric energy consumption by 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2022. That being said, there’s still much to be done. For instance, survey results highlighted that only 23 percent of respondents were aware of incentive programs their utilities and co-ops offer.

As we head into the colder months and the chances of snow and other inclement weather increase, there are things you can do to prepare your home so that energy is not wasted. While your home might feel cozier when the heat is cranked high, doing so may contribute to a higher energy bill. Virginia Energy Sense has compiled a list of easy, cost-effective tips you can implement to reduce your home energy use this winter.


Winter Energy Saving Tips

  • Check for incentives – Depending on your energy provider, you could be eligible for several incentives. Virginia Energy Sense maintains an up-to-date list of residential incentives offered, so be sure to visit our website to learn more.
  • Seal air leaks– Reduce the likelihood of air leaks in your home by weather-stripping around doors and windows and caulking air leaks where plumbing or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors and ceilings.
  • Change your filters –Maintain your HVAC system by replacing dirty air filters in your furnace. A clogged filter will cause your system to work harder and expend more energy.
  • Switch to LEDs –Replace your old incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs that use up to 75% less energy and last several times longer.
  • Don’t block the heat– Move furniture away from your vents, radiators and heaters in order to allow heat to circulate throughout your home.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – Lower your programmable thermostat to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit before leaving for work and adjust your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you get home to keep your energy bill in check.
  • Use power strips –Plug in multiple devices, like your laptop and TV, to a power strip to easily turn off all devices when not in use.
  • Reverse your fans –Since heated air rises, run your ceiling fans in reverse to circulate it back to floor level.
  • Use the sun –Open curtains and blinds on your west and south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close those curtains at night to retain heat.

Visit www.virginiaenergysense.org for more tips, blogs and other resources to help you reduce energy consumption at home during the winter.


Author:  Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)


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