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Author: Entrust Energy
Date: November 13, 2018
Winter is an expensive season. With budgets being stretched on holiday gift buying, winter wardrobes and festive parties, the last thing anyone wants to spend extra money on is their energy bill. Spend more of your hard-earned cash on the things you want with these money-saving energy tips.
Routine Home Maintenance
Make an annual inspection of your home before winter weather kicks in to ensure your home is maximizing its efficiency.
• Get your heating system professionally serviced every winter. Proper maintenance, along with the energy saving tasks listed below, can save you 30% on your energy bill.
• Consider upgrading to a high efficiency furnace, or retrofitting an older furnace with efficiency upgrades if it’s still in good working condition.
• Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors. Replace damaged stripping, or consider upgrading your doors and windows. Well-insulated windows and doors can reduce your energy usage by 20%.
• While you’re inspecting and improving attic insulation, insulate your attic access stairway by making or buying a stair cover box. The U.S. Department of Energy says your savings can be significant if your current stair box has unsealed gaps. (DIY attic stair cover box)
• Have your chimney professionally inspected, and be sure to leave the damper shut when the fireplace is not in use. An open damper can increase your energy bill by 30% annually, or close to $200 a year. An open damper acts like an open window, funneling warm air out of your home.
• Check your roof for damaged shingles, and make necessary repairs.
• Install a door sweep if you don’t have one. This seals the gap beneath your door, and will prevent cold air from sneaking into your home, and keep warm air from escaping.
Make Smart Plans
As the saying goes “fail to plan, plan to fail.” With some forethought, these tips can be regularly implemented, and save you money all winter long:
• Use energy-efficient LED lights for your holiday light display. They use around 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights. (Pro Tip: Purchase them after Christmas when they’re on sale and save even more!)
• Turn your water heater setting down to warm (around 120°F). Water heater temps that are too high can cost up to $61 a year.
• Set your thermostat as low as you can comfortably tolerate. Take advantage of those cozy winter socks and sweaters!
• When you’re at work or asleep, set your thermostat 10° lower. If you keep this setting for eight hours, you can save around 10% on your heating bill according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
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