Prepare for Colder Weather and Save on Your Energy BillBy: Ford Carson, Virginia Energy Sense
Now is the perfect time to prepare your home or business for the colder weather. To help you get started, Virginia Energy Sense has rounded up some wintertime energy saving tips and tricks to help you stay warm while saving you money on your energy bill.
Make Use of Your Window Coverings
During the winter, open your window curtains or shades during the day to let in natural light and help keep your space warm and comfortable. At night, be sure to close the curtains or shades to keep warm air and heat inside and reduce the chill from cold windows.
Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans circulate air and are great for making rooms feel more comfortable. During colder months, make sure your fans are set to rotate in a clockwise motion by using the switch on the fan motor to adjust spin direction. The clockwise rotation helps direct warm air away from the ceiling and down into the room. Just remember to turn off your ceiling fan when no one is around!
Replace Your Air Filters
Dirty air filters restrict air flow and force your heating and cooling systems to work harder. Be sure to check your air filters often, and replace them monthly or as needed to keep your systems running smoothly and efficiently. Also consider having your heating and cooling systems serviced by an HVAC technician once a year to keep them in top shape.
Set Your Programmable Thermostats
A programmable thermostat gives you more control by letting you adjust your heating and cooling systems according to your schedule. During the winter, set your programmable thermostat to the coolest comfortable temperature during the day and further decrease the temperature when you go to sleep or leave your home or building. Taking advantage of a programmable thermostat can save you as much as 10% on your heating and cooling costs.
Seal Leaks and Cracks
Did you know that the average household pays 10%–20% more than it needs to on heating and cooling bills because of unsealed leaks and cracks? Before you crank up the heat this season, make sure warm air isn’t escaping through leaks. Check for cracks and holes, especially around doors and windows, and use caulk, sealant, or weather-stripping to create a tight seal and prevent air from escaping or entering.
Check Your Insulation
Prepare for colder weather by properly insulating your home or business. Doing this will help you keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside. A good rule of thumb: If your insulation is even with or lower than your floor joists, you should add more. Proper insulation will help you maintain a steady temperature throughout your home or business and reduce your energy bill during the coldest months.
For more information about conducting a home energy assessment and tips for checking, locating, and sealing air leaks; setting your programmable thermostat to the right temperatures; and identifying the best type of insulation for your home, check out Virginia Energy Sense’s Do-It-Yourself Guide.
Find more energy and money saving tips at VirginiaEnergySense.org/10WaysToSave. You can also follow Virginia Energy Sense on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest energy saving advice and news.