As the temperature drops here are some energy saving tips to help you save on your energy bill
In a tough economy, there are many things you have no control over: the price of gas and higher taxes to name just two. But there are things you do have control over, and your energy bill is one of them. Below are tips from the Department of Energy on how to lower your energy bill.
A good place to start is to find leaks in your house. Here are some energy saving tips from Eversource and the DOE: On a cool, windy day, turn off your furnace, shut all the windows and doors, and turn on all your exhaust fans--including the ones in the bathrooms and your range hood in the kitchen. This will slightly depressurize your house and increase the airflow between the inside and outside. Then, light a stick of incense and move it over surfaces that might be a problem: along baseboards, around windows and doors, and along the sill plate in the basement. If there is an air leak, the smoke from the incense will either be drawn away or blown back into the room.
- Install a sweep to the inside bottom edge of your front door to eliminate drafts, and if you have a door that goes into an attached garage, install a sweep on that door too. Add weather stripping to any sliding glass doors.
- To reduce the amount of heat lost up the chimney when a fire is not burning, install a tight-fitting glass door unit over the fireplace opening. Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use.
- Install foam gaskets behind drafty switch and receptacle cover plates.
- In the cooler months, set ceiling fans to a clockwise rotation to push warm air down.
- Arrange your furniture so it does not obstruct heat registers. For places you cannot leave open, add scoop-shaped heat deflectors to the tops of registers to force air from under furniture and into the room. Partially or completely close register dampers in rooms that are seldom used.
- Install a programmable thermostat that lowers the temperature while you are sleeping or away at work. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. For every one-degree Fahrenheit you lower your thermostat, you will use one percent less energy.
- Consider replacing your old furnace. Replace the furnace filter once a month during heating season. Hire an HVAC contractor or your fuel supplier to clean and tune up your furnace every two years.
- If your water heater feels very warm to the touch, it is poorly insulated. Water heating represents 14 percent of an average house's annual energy use, so improvements pay off quickly. One of the best upgrades is to add a pre-cut insulation blanket to the outside of the heater. These covers usually cost less than $50 and take about an hour to install. Insulate water pipes, particularly in unheated spaces. Turn down the thermostat temperature on the water heater to 120°F.
- Refrigerator-Clean your refrigerator coils to improve the efficiency of your fridge. Check the seal on your refrigerator door. If you can close the door on a dollar bill and pull the bill out without resistance, then the door seal is worn and should be replaced.
- Turn off the lights when leaving a room. Try to use more task lighting than general lighting. If you are reading in a chair, you do not need to illuminate the entire room. Install
- If you leave lights on as a security measure when you are away, put them on Smart plugs or timers. You will use less electricity and give a more realistic impression that someone is home.
- Use solar-powered lights to accent the exterior of the house.
- Launder full loads, not partial loads. Up to 85 percent of the energy consumed when washing clothes is used to heat the water. Clean dryer lint from the trap after every load. It improves the efficiency of the dryer. Wash and rinse on the Cold cycle as much as possible. The difference in cost between the Cold/Cold and Hot/Hot cycles can be as much as sixty cents per load.
These are just a few things you can do to keep energy cost down when the temperature drops.