We’ve had a pretty mild September this year, so we put off posting our fall tips for a few weeks. Why rush the cold weather in?! But now it sounds like cooler, fall weather is coming and here to stay so it’s time to start shifting our energy behavior and getting ready for cold weather.
This time of year we want to highlight the importance of making sure your furnace or boiler is in good working order. Its recommended to get your furnace serviced each year- it’s a safety check for carbon monoxide and a good preventative maintenance step. If your furnace or boiler uses natural gas, you can check with your local utility to see if it offers a rebate for a tune-up. For example, CenterPoint Energy and Minnesota Energy Resources both provide tune-up rebates.
Here are some of our favorite tips for this season. Stay posted for winter tips- hopefully still a few months away!
- Adjust your thermostat. When heating your home, the Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature at 68 degrees when you are awake and turning it down about 10 degrees while you are away or asleep.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to control when your furnace or air conditioner turns on and off throughout the day.
- Service your furnace to make sure it runs efficiently as the weather starts to cool down.
- Take advantage of the sun. Open your curtains and blinds throughout the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home.
- Check windows and doors for leaks and seal leaks before the cold weather hits.
- Layer up. Bundle up as the weather cools to minimize the need to turn the heat on.
- Cook and bake efficiently. Use lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking time. Bake multiple things at once. Use crockpots and microwaves to save energy.
- Keep fridge and freezers full but not crowded. If your fridge or freezer is empty, fill milk jugs with water to fill up space and throw out old food if your fridge or freezer is too full.
- Inspect and clean your fireplace. Make sure your fireplace is safe before using. Close fireplace dampers when you are not using the fireplace to prevent heat from escaping.
- Redirect ceiling fans. Switch the rotation of your ceiling fan to clockwise, operate at a slow rate and push warm air down.
For a detailed analysis of opportunities to make your home more energy efficient, contact your local utility about getting an energy audit.