Ready Your Home for Winter

homes in a rowWinter2016HeatingEfficiency

Using energy more efficiently — especially heating — during cold months can cut the amount of money you spend on your utility bill.
Energy.gov reports that heating and cooling accounts for about 48 % of a typical U.S. home’s energy use, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.

Replacing a dirty filter will increase the air flow and make your home more energy efficient (with the added benefit of cleaner air in your home).

Turning the thermostat down a few degrees when you are away from home or sleeping also helps to reduce your monthly utility bill. For an even more hassle-free option, you can install a programmable thermostat that will automatically turn the heat down when you need it to and can begin heating your home before you wake up.

Other money saving steps include: opening your curtains to naturally heat your home, setting your ceiling fan to spin clockwise to blow hot air down, and adding insulation to your walls.

If it is time to replace your old furnace, look for energy-efficient models. Furnaces with an Energy Star rating usually exceed federal standards for energy efficiency, and can make choosing the right model that much easier.

Check your home for air leaks. Depending on the location of the leak, there are a variety of actions you can take to plug the leak.

Are you ready to take the next step in improving your home’s energy efficiency? Contact a local home energy auditor. A home energy audit pinpoints exactly where your home is losing energy and what you can do to stop it, saving you anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill.

Watch this video from Energy.gov on how a home energy audit works.

The BLP recommends the following steps:

• Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
• Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows and baseboards.
• Replace door bottoms and thresholds with pliable sealing gaskets.
• Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.

Source: EnergyEdCouncil.org

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