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Energy Saving Winter Tips

It’s that time of year where the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are colder.  This can also be the same as the heat of the summer and energy cost can go up if your home isn’t prepared.  With a few of these cost efficient tips, you can keep the entire family comfortable without breaking the bank.

Save money this winter by cutting your thermostat down to the lowest possible temperature to keep you and your family comfortable.  For every degree you turn down your thermostat, you can cut your seasonal energy cost 3 to 5 percent.

Proper air sealing around windows and doors can lower your energy bill up to 30%.  The average U.S. home has gaps and cracks that run ½ a mile long from end to end.  Adding insulation to window and door seems can prevent heat from escaping and cold air entering.  It’s also important to check your insulation around windows and doors each year, as replacing current insulation might be necessary.

Using a programmable thermostat can also cut energy cost up to 10% that can amount to $180 or more per year.  Setting the temperature to a cooler temperature during the day while you’re not at home and warmer at night will keep those heat pumps and furnaces from running up energy cost while no one is home.  Replacing your thermostat is an easy and affordable option to reduce heating cost.

Insulate basements, crawlspaces and attacks.  Just like the heat of summer can enter your home, the cold of winter can come creeping in from these locations too.  Check these spaces to insure insulation hasn’t fallen or deteriorated over time.  If so, simply replace

Switch to cold water to wash your clothes.  According to Energy Star, by switching the washing to cold water an average household can save between $30 to $40 annually.

Put your holiday decorations on timers.  This goes for Christmas trees, indoor decorations and outdoor alike.   For those outdoor decorations put them on a timer, so your lights do not run all night long.  Stopping the energy to those lights in the early morning hours can save you hours on your energy bills.

As always, clean and change filters regularly.  Dirty filters add strain to your systems causing them to work hard and increase your energy bill.  Also, the standard filters work just as well as the fancy allergy removing ones as long as they’re changed regularly.  You can save money by purchasing these filters and it will reduce the strain on your energy systems.

Your hot water heater can also cause your utility bill to go up if it’s turn up too high.  Set the water temperature to 120 degrees.  Simply reducing the temperature from 140 degree to 120 can save you 15% off energy cost. Adding a hot water heater blanket to your water heater is also a way to add insulation and keep the temperature warm.

Pulling the shades down during the night and dark hours will help keep cold temperatures out and opening the blinds to get natural light will help keep temperatures up as well.

Change the direction of your ceiling fans to pull the cool air up to the ceiling in turn pushing the warm air down can keep rooms warm.  Make sure you have the blades rotating clockwise for this to work.

These energy saving tips and others can keep money in your pocket this winter.  Take advantage now of these tips so you won’t be sorry later. If you have other ideas and suggestions share them on the Focus Magazine facebook page!