Fall has arrived, and gone are the sweltering hot days of summer and high cooling costs. But the change of seasons and the break from the summer heat is an excellent reminder that you might need to make some changes to your energy-saving habits. Read more to find out ways you can conserve energy at home this fall.
Let There Be Light (and Heat)
The sun is a wonderful free source of heat and light for your home. In the morning, open the blinds and curtains of south-facing windows and close them in the evening to lock in free heat. On the contrary, you should keep the blinds and curtains closed in rooms that don’t receive much sun; this will help trap in heat. Keeping your curtains and blinds open allows you to rely on free light during the day, so you’ll use less electricity trying to brighten your home.
Regulate Your Home Temperature
Keeping your thermostat at or below 68 degrees can help you save money. According to the Department of Energy, turning back your thermostat seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you up to 10 percent on heating costs. Setting your thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re at home and lowering the temperature before you go to bed means your HVAC system will work less, resulting in lower energy consumption. Consider a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat that you can regulate from your phone.
Check for Cracks and Leaks
An excessively high energy bill might mean that your home has an air leakage problem. When there are cracks or gaps in windows, doors, or walls, heated air escapes, and cold air enters. Before winter arrives, it’s important to check all your doors and windows for air leakage that could cause your heater to work overtime.
If you find space between your exterior doors and the floor, add weatherstripping to the bottom or use caulk to seal the gap.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your fireplace to make sure it’s not allowing excessive air to seep through. Keep the fireplace damper closed when it’s not in use and consider purchasing energy-efficient fireplace grates. These grates will draw cool air into the fireplace while pushing warm air back into your home.
Reverse the Spin of Your Ceiling Fan
Did you know that ceiling fans not only help you stay cool, but they can also help you keep warm in the winter? Reversing your fan to a counterclockwise direction in the winter helps push warm air back down. It also redistributes the warm air from your heating system, ensuring pockets of cold air don’t settle in the corners of your rooms. Don’t forget to adjust your fans back in the summer!
Replace Your HVAC Filter
If you don’t replace your air filter, it clogs up with dust and reduces airflow. This puts an unnecessary strain on your HVAC system. We recommend checking your air filter once a month to make sure it’s not too dirty. There are different variables that affect how often you should change your air filter, but on average, it should be replaced every 90 days. If you have pets, it should be changed more frequently.
Optimize Your Appliances
Outdated appliances can cause a significant drain on electricity. When you buy new appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, or dryers, be sure the equipment has an ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR-certified equipment uses less energy and saves you money.
Want more helpful energy conservation facts, tips, and information? Check out our free Home Energy Guide.