Crisp, sunny days and clear, cool nights provide the perfect opportunity to open your windows and enjoy the weather (and the energy savings). Here’s how to keep those energy savings going all season long:
- Rearrange your furniture to keep you warmer without turning up the heat. Move your sofa and chairs near interior walls, so they’re out of the drafts that can come in through exterior walls and windows.
- Schedule an HVAC professional to clean your home’s ducts before it’s time to turn on the furnace. Your system’s efficiency can be reduced as much as 20% by damaged or blocked ducts.
- Enjoy your wood-burning fireplace on mild days in autumn and early winter. When outdoor temperatures drop below 30°F, the fireplace can pull more cold air into your home through cracks and crevices, forcing your furnace to work harder.
- Replace the five most frequently used lights in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These more efficient bulbs produce less heat and waste less energy and the savings can be considerable during the shorter days of fall and winter.
- Vacuuming and wiping clean light bulbs and lighting fixtures can also help save energy. Dust and kitchen grease can build up and reduce the bulbs’ brightness, requiring you to turn on more fixtures to get the light you need.
- Drain your hot water heater annually to reduce the sediment that settles to the bottom of the tank, creating a barrier between the water and the heating element. Keep the water temperature set at 120°F, as the higher the water temperature, the faster the sediment builds up inside.