The shift of seasons is upon us. The State Fair is over and kids are back at school. Soon we’ll be turning the furnace instead of the air conditioner and closing windows instead of keeping them open.
To help you keep bills reasonable during transition time as it starts to get colder, we’ve included some quick and easy tips. The good news is that for many households, bills in the fall (and spring) can be some of the lowest of the year because we typically don’t need air conditioning or heating as much. Follow the tips below to minimize your energy use while still staying comfortable.
- 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.