Whether you’re hoping to ease your impact on the planet or just want to save a few dollars, reducing your energy use can help you get there…
Whether you’re hoping to ease your impact on the planet or just want to save a few dollars, reducing your energy use can help you get there.
Heating and cooling your home, especially those in regions with extreme temperature shifts, can be among the more expensive components of your utility bill. Luckily, making some easy adjustments in your home can dramatically reduce how much you spend on energy.
Here are several tips to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable temperatures in your home this winter:
1. Use the sun for free heat. That bright orb in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year. Open the curtains on your south-facing windows during winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.
2. Bundle up with warm accessories. This is one of the easiest ways to save on your heating bill. Instead of turning the heat up, put on a cozy winter sweater and warm socks. Keep throw blankets on your couch, and add an area rug to insulate the floor.
3. Use ceiling fans to your advantage. Homes that have better ventilation and airflow can be more energy efficient in the summer and winter months. If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, you have more control over ventilation than you know. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow: counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer and clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. Turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to gently push hot air back down.
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- When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as comfortable. We recommend 68°F or below in the winter. When you are asleep or out of the house, lower the setting by several degrees. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home.
- Cover drafty windows with a heavy duty, clear plastic sheet on the inside of window frames during winter months.
- Set your water heater to 120°F and use efficient showerheads.
- Wash clothes in cold water, and wash only full loads.
- Use your dishwasher at full capacity, and air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Switch to ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulbs. To select the right bulb for your needs, look for the Lighting Facts label when you shop. It’s a quick way to compare brightness (lumens), light appearance (warm to cool) and operating costs.
- Set refrigerator temperature between 37° and 40°F, and your freezer at 0°F.
- Unplug old refrigerators in garages or basements that might be used as storage, but are inefficient and not fully utilized.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Plug home electronics, such as TVs, DVD players and computers into power strips and turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use.
- Improve your home’s heating and cooling systems by cleaning or replacing furnace filters and scheduling routine system maintenance to help air flow through the system more efficiently.
Great thanks to the Authors of these energy saving tips: Niccole Schreck and Rocky Mountain Power!