Saving money through greater energy efficiency may be a year-round objective for many members, but the way to achieve this goal varies by season. A number of factors affect energy efficiency, including weather, the age and condition of the home, and desired comfort levels. During the fall and winter months, when the outdoor temperatures are chilly, many of us desire a warm home and seek to keep the cold air out. Conversely, in the spring and summer, we focus on keeping the hot air from infiltrating our cool abodes.
Fall and Winter: Keeping Heat In
To maintain a warm indoor environment in chillier weather, take simple steps to increase energy efficiency. Now is a great time to examine seals on doors and windows to check for air leaks. Caulk and weatherstrip as needed to seal in warm air and save energy. Similarly, examine outlets for air leaks. Where necessary, install gaskets around the outlet to prevent drafts. During the day, open curtains or drapes on south-facing windows to enable sunlight to heat your home naturally. Close curtains or drapes at night for an added layer of window insulation.
As the temperature drops, be sure to replace your air filter(s). A dirty filter can make it harder for your heating system to work efficiently. Use a programmable or “smart” thermostat to set the temperature as low as is comfortable when you are home (ideally around 68 degrees). When you are asleep or away, turn the temperature down a few. According to the Department of Energy, this small adjustment can save approximately 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs. Turning off all unused lights and only heating the areas of your home that you’re using will add up to significant savings.
To learn more about energy-saving tips and programs, contact PenLight at 253-857-5950.