Your winter energy savings checklist

Published November 30, 2021

Households might be feeling extra strained this winter season from rising heating costs. Some natural gas customers are also seeing surcharges on their bills from the February 2021 winter storm costs. While these things are largely out of our control, actions you take around your home to weatherproof and use less energy can soften the blow. These energy efficiency measures translate into savings and a more comfortable home.

Heating system

  • Adjust your thermostat. The Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature at 68 degrees when you are awake and turning it down by as much as 10 degrees while you are away or asleep. Be sure to never lower the temperature below 55 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.
  • Service your furnace and change filters regularly. This will help maximize airflow and efficiency.
  • If needed, use space heaters safely and efficiently. Only have space heaters on when you are in the room,do not plug them into extension cords, and keep items around them at a safe distance.
  • Inspect and clean your fireplace. Make sure your fireplace is safe. Close fireplace dampers when you are not using it to prevent heat from escaping.

Doors

  • Seal cracks around the door with foam or other weatherstripping where you can see light enter.
  • Add a door draft stopper to block cold air from entering.

Windows

  • Cover windows with plastic film to block drafts.
  • Hang heavy drapes for added insulation. Let the sun shine through south-facing windows during the day, and close the drapes at night to prevent heat loss.
  • Seal window frames with rope caulk, foam or other weatherstripping to block gaps between the panes and sash.

Other tips

  • Rugs are another great way to help your home feel warmer.
  • Cook comfort food efficiently this winter. Bake in batches and freeze extras. Cook your favorite soup and chili recipes in crockpots. Slow-cooked food tastes great and uses less energy.
  • Celebrate the holidays with LED lights. If you decorate with lights, purchase LED holiday lights and keep them on timers.
  • Redirect ceiling fans. Switch the rotation of ceiling fans to clockwise and operate them at a slow rate to circulate warm air down from the ceiling.

If you have questions about high energy bills or would like more customized suggestions to reduce energy use, please give us a call at 651-300-4701 ext. 2 or email us at info@cubminnesota.org.

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Author: Hannah Hoeger

One Response to "Your winter energy savings checklist"

  1. Danny Thomas Posted on December 8, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Would like to know more about rebates and discounts involving purchases of energy efficient water heaters and furnaces.

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