Ward off higher winter bills: Tips to help you save heat and energy at home
Winter is a great time of year, but brings increased energy costs around the home. Snow, cold winds, less sunlight all present challenges in keeping your house warm. Plus, poorer weather often means spending more time at home and using more energy.
BCAA offers easy ways to help ease the cost of heating your home and keeping it running throughout the winter months.
Stay warm and save money
- Keep the outside out. Weather-strip exterior doors. Seal air leaks around heating and cooling ducts. Check the foundation walls and look for cracks and leaks that may be letting cold air in.
- Seal up leaky windows. Shrink wrap or clear plastic films installed on windows are a quick and inexpensive way to keep heat in and are available at most hardware stores. Even if you just apply this to some windows throughout your home, you’ll notice a difference.
- Replace old windows with energy-efficient ones. Consider installing low-emissivity (low-E) glass, gas-filled glazing or windows that have insulated spacers.
- Upgrade the insulation. Choose insulation with a high R-value for your basement and particularly the attic. A well-insulated attic will help keep heat from escaping through the highest section of your home.
- Remember to turn down the thermostat. Set the thermostat to cooler temperatures for the times you’re not home and while you’re sleeping. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to start heating just before you wake up and arrive home.
Reduce your energy use
- Make EnergyStar® purchases. Invest in electronics and electrical appliances which meet the newest Energy Star® certification criteria. Consider replacing those refrigerators and freezers first as they are two of the most energy-consuming appliances.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use about one-quarter of the energy incandescent bulbs use and deliver the same amount of light.
- Use light only when you need it. Remember to turn off lights in rooms you’re not using. Install dimmers, timers, motion sensors or photocells to reduce the amount of energy used by lighting.
- Be green when you clean. Using cold water is the single most effective way to reduce the energy consumption of your washing machine. Consider switching to an energy-efficient washing machine and dryer, or better yet hang your clothes to dry whenever possible.
- Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use. Electronics and appliances use energy even when they’re not in use and unplugging them even when you’re home will reduce your energy consumption.