Tips for creating an energy efficient home this winter:
- Open your drapes. One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating bills is to let the sun help you heat your home. UV rays from your windows, especially your south-facing windows, can make a big difference. Of course, you'll want to pull those drapes or turn those blinds as soon as the sun starts to set to help keep that heat inside your home.
- Turn down your thermostat at night while you sleep. You don't have to be uncomfortable to save money and energy this winter. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household can save around 10 percent on their heating bill by simply reducing the temperature setting on their thermostat by 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day. An extra blanket will ensure you stay toasty while you sleep despite the lower temperature.
- Don't skimp on your furnace maintenance. That annual furnace maintenance call may seem like an unneeded expense. However, the money you spend having your heating system checked before the start of cold weather season can save you money and extend the life of your furnace. The number one reason furnaces fail is a build-up of dust and dirt clogging the system and forcing the motor to work harder, thus using more energy and causing it to wear out at a quicker rate.
- Trade your outdated holiday lights for LED lights. Many of us have strands and strands of holiday lights for decorating the tree, the house and the mantle. However, LED lights use around 75 percent less energy and last about 25 percent longer than traditional lights. Plus, LED lights generate much less heat, making them safer, especially for lighting a cut evergreen tree. Additionally, up to 25 strands can be connected, something you would never try with traditional bulbs.
- Reduce heat lost from your fireplace. While a fireplace may be charming in the winter, it can also be a great source of wasted energy. Reduce this by closing the damper when your fireplace is not in use and shutting the doors to the room with the fireplace when you are enjoying a fire. If you never use the fireplace, consider having the flue permanently sealed.
Saving money on your winter energy bills and taking steps to make your home more energy efficient doesn't have to be a time consuming or expensive task. Simply, open your drapes, turn down your thermostat at night and switch your holiday lights over to LED and you’ll notice a significant saving this year.
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