Soak Up Some Sun – and Save Energy – this Winter
November 11, 2020
Did you know that letting sunshine into your house can help you conserve energy, save money and stay comfortable this winter? By opening the curtains on your south-facing windows during the day, the natural sunlight will help heat your home. Don’t forget to close the curtains at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
This is just one of several energy-saving strategies recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy. Listed below are additional tips that can be used daily. They are simple and inexpensive actions designed to maximize savings and comfort during the cold winter months.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
- Further reduce draft from windows using a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame, or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to increase effectiveness.
- Install tight-fitting, insulated drapes or shades on windows that still feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Seal any air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lighting in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cabinets and closets.
- Install a smart or programmable thermostat to help maximize your energy savings.
- By lowering your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees when you are out of the house or before you go to sleep, you can save around 10 percent a year on your heating bill. During the day, set the temperature as low as is comfortable.
- Maintain your home heating system by scheduling regular service appointments with a qualified HVAC contractor and replacing your furnace filter once a month, or as needed.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees). You will save energy and reduce your exposure to getting burned.
- If you have a fireplace, check the seal on the flue damper and make it is as snug as possible.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open allows the natural draft of the chimney to funnel warm air out of your home.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a good idea to invest in some LED light strings now to reduce the cost of decorating your home. Make sure the lights are ENERGY STAR® certified and have the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.
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