Chilly weather and shorter days are here. Homeowners are turning on their heat, and using lights earlier and earlier. Energy consumption is up, which means higher energy bills. But, there are simple DIY measures you can take to offset these costs.
- Adjust the thermostat. Lowering the temperature in your home by 3-5 degrees while you are away from your home, or at night, can reduce your heating bill by 5-10% a year. If you do not already have a programmable thermostat, installing one will help control the temperature while you are away and at night. When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. For every degree you lower your thermostat you save approximately 2% off your heating bill.
- Take advantage of the sun. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to prevent heat loss.
- Reduce heat loss from your fireplace. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open is the equivalent of having a 6” hole in the wall of the room the fireplace is in. If you use your fireplace regularly, consider installing a wood stove or a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check your windows and doors. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. That includes overhead doors on attached garages. Check window frames for cracks and fill them with a silicon caulk. Putty-like “rope caulk” can help seal large cracks and save you up to 5% on your energy bill. Check all exterior doors for air leaks and weatherstrip and caulk as needed. A one-eighth-inch gap around a door is equivalent to a 6-inch-square hole in the side of your house and causes a lot of energy loss
- Lower your water temperature. Water heating can account for 14- 25% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Anything higher is generally wasteful and a lower setting is also recommended as a safety precaution for homes with children.
If you are looking for additional ways to lower your energy costs, call Green Horizon to schedule a Home Energy Audit. Many homeowners are surprised to find out that the biggest energy wasters in their homes are not what they thought, and recommended improvements are often easier and less expensive than anticipated. Schedule an appointment with GH to find out what other steps you can take to green your home and lower your bills.