When winter temperatures fall well below freezing, many homeowners begin to worry about how high their heating bills will be. What most people don’t realize, however, is that little things can go a long way when trying to save a few extra dollars when it’s cold outside. Here are some valuable energy savings tips for winter that that will save money during colder weather, but can also result in energy savings when the weather is warmer.
Turn It Down
Heating systems typically account for about 40% of energy usage in winter. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, if possible. For every degree above 68°F, your furnace will use 3% to 5% more energy for each degree above that benchmark. Set the thermostat to 56°F when you’re out. By reducing home temperature 10°F to 15°F for an average of eight hours, you can save as much as 15% on heating costs.
When doing wash, put clothes in cold water to save about $30 per year in annual energy costs if you have a gas water heater. If your washer is over 10 years old, buy a more efficient ENERGY STAR® model that can save energy. Clean the lint trap every time you put a load in to dry. By doing so, you’ll save about the same amount in gas costs. Similarly, don’t over dry your clothes. Let your dryer’s moisture sensor detect when clothes are dry to determine shut off.
Replace Old Windows
Today’s ENERGY STAR®-rated windows keep out cold and keep in heat much more efficiently than windows made 20 years ago. Even if you can’t replace all at once, consider replacing those in your draftiest areas. New windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by 15%. At the same time, take a look at your home’s insulation. Properly sealed and insulated attics, walls, crawl spaces and basement rim joists can provide a 10% annual savings.
Check Your Heating System
Even if its running properly, considering replacing your furnace if it’s more than 10 years old to take advantage of more energy efficient models. At the same time, have an HVAC contractor look for leaks in ducts to minimize heat loss.
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