Energy Insight: What are easy ways to save money on energy use in winter?

Winter in the South isn’t very predictable. The only thing for certain is that energy usage will increase. We’ve put together a few quick suggestions to help you save money on your energy bills this winter.

Try following these suggestions and read our other articles to learn more:

  1. Control your thermostat: In the winter, keep your thermostat set as low as comfortably possible. We suggest 68º when you’re at home and 65º while you’re away or asleep.
  2. Let the sunlight in: Keep blinds open during daylight hours and closed overnight. This is particularly helpful if you have South-facing windows.
  3. Reverse your fans: Reverse your ceiling fans so that they turn toward the high side of the blades (clockwise for most fans), and keep them on a low setting. This causes airflow at the ceiling, where warm air tends to become stagnant and trapped.
  4. Change air filters: Change the air filters at your return air ducts. This makes it easier for your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to circulate air.
  5. Maintain your HVAC: We suggest regular HVAC service every six months (once before winter; once before summer). Check out eScore for a list of qualified contractors.
  6. Weatherize your home: Fix or replace faulty weather stripping around doors and windows. If you can see light around your doors, it could be costing you in energy use.
  7. Check your insulation: Make sure that your home’s attic and crawl space are properly insulated. Department of Energy recommended insulation levels can be found at energy.gov.
  8. Upgrade to LED: Consider replacing existing incandescent and fluorescent lighting with quality LED replacements for year-round savings.
  9. Make your home smarter: Installing a smart home thermostat can save you money, by automatically adjusting temperature settings when you’re away from home. Register to win one by signing up for Power Partners.
  10. Monitor “auxiliary” heat: “Auxiliary” of “Emergency” heat is an essential component of most electric heating systems. It’s necessary when temperatures are very cold (usually below 30º). Days when you see “aux” or “emg” on your thermostat display may be good days to turn down the thermostat temperature setting.
  11. Insulate your water heater: If your water heater is in an uninsulated area and it feels warm to the touch, then it’s loosing valuable heat. Consider insulating it with a purpose made product.
  12. Wear warmer clothes: If you turn down your thermostat a few degrees and put on a sweatshirt, you’ll be comfortable and you’ll be saving money.

If you’re doing all these things and would still like to increase your energy efficiency, then we can help. Our Power Partners can contact us any time. We’re hear to help with everything from energy audits to solar panel economics calculations.

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