As the winter and fall seasons approach, so too do the shorter days and the cooler weather that they bring. For most of us, fall and winter is a time to enjoy some much-needed relief from the summer humidity and to celebrate the holidays, catching up on some well-needed family time, and enjoying some hard-earned rest.
However, with the cost of energy bills continually rising, it’s important to make sure you’re doing all you can to prepare your home for the colder months, even if it means making a call to your local heating repair services.
If you follow just a few of the following eight fall and winter energy-saving tips, you may be able to reduce your energy bills without compromising on comfort! Let’s get into the tips.
Keep control of your thermostat during the colder months
First and foremost, you must keep control of your thermostat and resist the urge to keep it turned up to the max, 24 hours a day.
Of course, heat is a must during the colder months, but did you know that heating costs typically make up 50% of your home’s energy bills? Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your heating without racking up your electricity bill:
- Install a programmable thermostat so you can lower it by 10-15 degrees while out of the house. (You can save 2% on your heating bill for every degree you set back your thermostat for an 8 hour period)
- Refrain from giving your home bursts of increased temperature, as the heat will be lost quickly and won’t heat your home sustainably.
- According to the Department of Energy, the most sustainable temperature that still provides an ample comfort level is 68 degrees. This should be reduced during sleeping hours.
Make sure your home is properly insulated
Heat loss is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to a rising energy bill. If heat is escaping from your home, your HVAC system must work harder (and use more energy) to produce the same amount of heat.
Check your home for any cracks, leaks, or drafts and conduct necessary repairs immediately. Windows and doors are some of the places where you will be most likely to find cracks and gaps, especially in older homes. You can weatherize your home using caulk and weather stripping, helping to seal up the obvious areas where you are experiencing heat loss.
Let the light into your home
One of the best natural sources of heat for your home is the sun, even in the winter months.
Don’t be afraid to open your blinds, curtains, or drapes and let the sunlight in. Allowing your home to harness the free heat energy that the sun brings can help to reduce your energy bills by decreasing the amount of energy you need to heat your home.
Conduct maintenance on your HVAC system
A lot of people tend to neglect their HVAC system and forget to conduct regular maintenance, which may hurt your energy bills. Before the fall and winter seasons come in, take some time to replace your air filters, increasing the airflow throughout your home.
An HVAC system with a clogged up and dirty air filter has a much harder time regulating your home’s temperature, which puts a strain on the system. Furthermore, it’s important to change your filters at least once every couple of months as it helps to filter out bacteria, allergens, and dust from the air throughout your home.
Watch your hot water usage
It’s easy to forget how much harder our water heater system has to work in the colder months to achieve the same heating. In fact, water heating accounts for upwards of 20% of your home’s energy bills, so it’s important to keep a handle on them.
Here are some steps you can follow to reduce your hot water usage:
- Opt for baths instead of showers
- Limit hot showers to 5-10 minutes per day
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Decrease the water heater thermostat
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine on shorter cycles
Keep an eye on the lighting
As it gets dark earlier, we often see an increase in lighting usage in fall and winter. To combat the cost of this, install energy-efficient light bulbs and ensure you turn off the lights when leaving a room.
You can also set timers on both indoor and outdoor lights to help reduce costs.
Reverse your ceiling fan
Last but not least, here is an ingenious way of using your ceiling fans to your advantage in the cooler months. If you reverse your fan’s direction, they will push warm air down from the ceiling (which is where warm air collects). This redistributes the warm air generated by your
HVAC system and helps to keep your home warm in a very cost-efficient and simple manner.
Counter-clockwise rotation pushes cool air down, and clockwise rotation pushes the warm air down, ideal for winter months.
James Watson is a part of the Content and Marketing team at Eliteheatingandac.com.