In 2011, President Obama officially designated October as Energy Action Month in an effort to encourage Americans to save energy, water and money. This fall, you can take action by following these simple strategies to keep your home more comfortable and your utility costs lower during the cold winter months.
- Maintain your heating system. Regular maintenance by a licensed HVAC professional is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation of your furnace. To avoid a breakdown when the weather is at its worst, schedule maintenance before cold weather arrives.
- Adjust the temperature. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower for eight hours during the day and evening to save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat down as low as is comfortable.
- Find and seal up leaks. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around house windows and doors. Look for gaps around pipes, vents and electrical outlets that go through the ceiling, wall or floor. These areas are notorious energy leakers and should also be sealed up.
- Install energy-efficient windows. If you are planning to replace your windows, choosing ENERGY STAR®-rated windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%. Learn about the most energy-efficient windows manufactured by Sunrise® Windows & Doors.
- Reduce heat loss from a fireplace. Up to 90% of the heat produced by a wood-burning fireplace is lost through the chimney. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning, and be sure the damper seals properly. You can also add a heat exchanger, a device that captures some of the heat that goes up the chimney. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue to further prevent heat loss.
- Use the sun’s rays to your advantage. During winter daylight hours, fill rooms with sunlight to naturally warm your home. Leave curtains open on south-facing windows, and cover windows with insulated window coverings at night to retain heat and reduce draftiness.