As the calendar turns to a new year, many of us begin to contemplate resolutions. Those resolutions often begin with resolving to make changes in particular behaviors to see a fruitful outcome. This year, you may want to consider adding saving energy to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
One thing we can all agree on is high winter bills are never fun, especially in our current economic environment. You can begin the year resolving to save energy by managing your home’s energy use and keeping your winter bills in check.
Here are five tips to help increase your home’s energy efficiency this winter:
1. Mind the thermostat. This is one of the easiest ways to manage your home energy use. We recommend setting your thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower) when you’re home. When you’re sleeping or away for an extended period of time, try setting it between 58 and 62 degrees; there’s no need to heat your home when you’re away or sleeping and less active. If you have a manual thermostat, you might consider switching to a programmable thermostat, which will help improve the energy efficiency of your system.
2. Button up your home. The Department of Energy estimates that air leaks account for 24% to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling a home. Caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors is another simple, cost-effective way to increase comfort and save energy. If you can feel drafts while standing near a window or door, it likely needs to be sealed.
3. Use window coverings wisely. Open blinds, drapes or other window coverings during the day to allow natural sunlight in to warm your home. Close them at night to keep the cold, drafty air out. If you feel cold air around windows, consider hanging curtains or drapes in a thicker material; heavier window coverings can make a significant difference in blocking cold outdoor air.
4. Avoid space heaters. While a good central heating system is designed to meet whole house needs, sometimes consumers turn to space heaters for additional warmth. Though small in size, space heaters can drive up the cost of your power bill tremendously. Space heaters are intended to be used in small spaces for short periods of time. Never try to heat a room with a space heater, especially when central heat is available.
5. Think outside the box. If you’re still feeling chilly at home, think of other ways to warm up––beyond dialing up the thermostat. Add layers of clothing, wear thick socks and bundle up under blankets. You can even add layers to your home! If you have hard-surface flooring, consider purchasing an area rug to block cold air that leaks in through the floor.
If you’re taking steps to save energy but continue to see major increases in your bills, give us a call at 601-425-2535. Dixie Electric’s energy experts can help identify areas and other factors impacting your home energy use and recommend next steps for savings. You can also visit our website at dixieepa.com for additional energy-saving tips.
Winter months often bring some of the highest energy bills of the year. But, by being proactive about saving energy and resolving to make the necessary changes within your control, you can increase the comfort of your home and reduce monthly bills.