As we head into the coldest months of the year here in the Lehigh Valley, many homeowners are wondering what they can do to save money on their electric bill. Even the smallest of changes can add up to significant savings, helping to keep your budget intact.
There are a few inexpensive and fairly easy things you can do that will conserve the energy your household uses during the winter months:
ENERGY SAVING TIPS FOR WINTER
1. Unblock the vents – go around each room in your home and make sure the vents are unblocked by furniture. The more heat that can filter through the vents, the more efficient they will run.
2. Clean the vents – make sure the vents are running as efficiently as possible by getting rid of any dust and dirt that may block heat from getting into the room.
3. Keep shades and curtains open – if you keep your shades and curtains open during the sunniest hours of the day, you’ll allow the sun’s heat to penetrate the room, allowing your thermostat to run less.
4. Use the proper insulation – spaces like your attic, walls, and basement need the right amount of insulation to ensure the least amount of heat loss. Have a professional inspect the areas of your home that could use additional insulation. This is a tip that will also help during the warmer months too!
5. Seal out the cold with caulk and weather stripping – caulk for your windows and door frames, as well as weather stripping are inexpensive fixes to stop the cold air from sneaking and allowing the heat to escape, and can be purchased at your local home improvement store.
6. Remove window air conditioners – no matter how “sealed” your window air conditioners are, leaving them in during the winter is the perfect way to allow cold air in and let heat escape. Remove them from the windows before it gets cold.
7. Lock your windows – locking your windows gives just a little bit more of a seal which keeps more heat in.
8. Close the fireplace flu – this is one of the area’s that so many homeowners forget about when it gets cold. Simply close the damper which helps keep heat in and cold out.
9. Set the thermostat – the key to setting the thermostat to the right temperature to efficiently save energy during the winter is to make sure you don’t set it too low or too high. While not the same for every home, a good starting point is 67 degrees. You may have to adjust it a few times at the start of the season until you get right temp, but don’t change it more than a degree or two at one time.
10. Use power strips – using power strips allows you to turn off the items plugged into it when they are not in use. Ever hear of phantom energy? This is the energy that is still being used even when the item is not in use. Cell phone chargers for example continue to use energy when plugged in, even if you are not charging your cell phone. If the charger is plugged into a power strip, you can switch the strip to off, eliminating the phantom energy usage.
I hope this checklist and advice will help you to save energy and in turn save money on your electric bill this winter. After all, we can all use a few tips to keep our home budgets intact!
What energy savings tips do you have?
Contact Barb Bottitta for any and all of your Lehigh Valley area questions, as well as real estate needs, as I am always happy to help in any way that I can! You can also connect with me on my Facebook Page for events and happenings in the Lehigh Valley area, as well as home ownership tips, real estate market updates, and so much more!
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