Good day there, are you online researching how to go about saving energy this winter? We’ve got you covered! In this article we’ve assembled ten great tips from five highly-respected authorities.
Let’s start right at the top of the proverbial pyramid, with the folks who handle our nation’s light switches.
The Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy has the big picture perspective of the entire nation’s energy footprint, not just your home. Can you imagine? Here are two simple steps to take from their “Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips” published on their core website.
#1) Finally Handle Those Drafty Windows!
Whether you need to consider replacement windows (if they’re really in bad shape) or to refresh the weatherstripping, windows need to be air-tight. From there it’s best to hang cozy insulating drapes or shades to re enforce their work – especially on larger windows.
#2) Drop The Winter Water Heating Costs
Did you know you can turn down the temperature on your water heater? It’s simple, and by setting it to 120°F, you’ll save energy. Here’s a key question, “Does the water almost burn my hands while washing dishes?”
If the answer’s yes, then you could easily turn it down a bit. There’s no reason you need scalding hot water, is there?
Choose Energy is a consumer-focused organization with a pretty simple mission we can relate to:
“Empower energy consumers by providing educational guides, clear information, and easy-to-use tools. Our goal is to demystify the energy industry and connect our customers with great energy plans at affordable rates.”
While they don’t focus on Northern California where all of our customers are, these two steps from their “10 Energy-Saving Tips to Survive the Winter” are applicable to all Americans in the winter.
#3) Set Ceiling Fans to Clockwise
Don’t be embarrassed if you had no idea ceiling fans could do this. It’s insanely common for people to discover little facts like these through the grapevine. Because hot air rises, you set your ceiling fan to push it back down into the home.
#4) Let Those Sunrays In!
Okay okay, maybe it’s super-cloudy outside and perhaps a bit gloomy for those who aren’t into wintertime scenery, but that doesn’t mean the sun is gone. When it does peak out from behind those clouds, whenever possible let its heat inside.
For the sides of your home that are sun-facing, try and get into the habit of opening them in the day then closing in the afternoon.
Since 1978, County Living Magazine has become an iconic resource for American lifestyle and home decor (the UK edition launched in 1985). Their wintertime photography is always just so heartwarming and breathtaking! Here’s a handful of their energy-saving, simple-living steps focused on optimizing the basics of your life that applies to everyone.
#5) Wear More Appropriate Clothing
Just like your water heater, it’s likely you can turn your thermostat down a bit lower. All that’s needed is to wear more wintertime clothing indoors! When everyone is spending the lazy winter days lounging around the house in t-shirts and shorts like it’s summer…that’s a sign you could save on energy.
#6) Share The Oven With The Home
The winter is typically filled with feasting. You’ve got the holiday season, and well, maybe you and your family are just really into baking. Whatever the case, instead of letting all the heat in your oven go to waste after you’re done with it, leave it open and let that heat out.
#7) Keep Your Fridge Well-Stocked
Budgeting (and dieting) permitting, when you keep your fridge full it doesn’t waste as much energy. Why? Well, because it takes your fridge’s system much more to keep a few things cold or frozen vs. a packed space where things begin keeping each other cooler.
#8) Only Heat Rooms You Use
If you have the kind of HVAC system it takes to individually control rooms, ensure you’re not heating unused areas. These often include spare rooms and larger storage areas. Can you close their vents? Although keep in mind, if these parts of your home are unsealed and drafty, you may just end up making it harder on your overall system (kind of like the fridge example).
#9) Use LED Decorative Lights
During the wintertime is when most folks put decorative lights on their homes. Or, perhaps you have non-holiday decorative lights around the year because you love the sparkle? When possible try to use LED lights. They use far less energy and last much longer. Sure, they’re pretty standard now, but not always – especially when shopping around online.
Given that we’re one of Northern California’s most trusted and highly-reviewed HVAC companies, we have to weigh in here. Let’s just take the most important step to saving energy this winter from our “7 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home: A Checklist for Fall” article.
#10) Schedule an HVAC Tune-up!
The last thing you need is for your HVAC system to start going crazy during the winter when you need it to keep you cool. Does Northern California have the winter nightmares of easter WA or OR? No, not typically, but when it happens HVAC systems that are already struggling will usually cause issues.
Wrapping Up – Weather Doesn’t Procrastinate
So neither should you. If it’s time to start winterizing your home and you happen to be in Northern California, Service Champions is here to help. Otherwise, put yourself a checklist together and go through it religiously to see plenty of extra $$$ in your account at the end of the year.