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December Energy Tips

While cold temperatures mean higher heating bills, don’t forget some easy steps to make your home more energy and cost effective this winter.

And, as you shop for the holidays, why not consider some energy efficient gifts. Save your loved ones money all year long when you gift them items that will use less energy.

You are welcome to contact me with questions, or to make a topic suggestion. Please email me at lhensley@central.coop.

 

Simple Steps To Lower Heating Costs And Keep You Warm 

Energy dollars can pour out of your living space through drafty doors and windows, as well as unused portions of the home. Costs associated with heating and cooling account for about 44 percent of utility bills. Lowering the thermostat is the easiest way to save energy. Adjust the temperature 5 to 8 degrees when you are away from home or sleeping, and keep it to the lowest comfortable level when at home. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature day and night.
 

Use these tips to help cut costs and improve heating efficiency and safety:
 

  • Replace your furnace filter every month to save energy and improve heat circulation. Consider having a professional check and service your furnace system to ensure peak efficiency and safety.
     
  • Use sunlight’s natural heat to your best advantage. Open curtains and blinds on sunny days to let the sunlight warm your home and close them on gloomy days, and at night, to keep the heat inside.
     
  • Close your fireplace damper when you are not using the fireplace to prevent heat from escaping and cold from entering through your chimney.
     
  • As long as there is a cold air return, you can close the vent and door for rooms you do not use. Experts say without a cold air return, closing off a room can build up pressures that cause the furnace to work harder.
     
  • If you have older or leaky windows, consider temporary fixes such as plastic film kits that create the effect of an interior storm window.
     
  • Weather stripping is relatively easy and available at your local home improvement store. Stop drafts from coming in and heat from leaking out of your home through drafty doors and windows.
     
  • Use caulk to seal gaps in the walls of your home. Wherever different building materials meet, or wiring comes out of a wall, there are gaps that may contribute to the loss of heat in your home.
     
  • Invest in a water heater insulation blanket. If the top of the electric water heater is warm to the touch, you are wasting energy. This means that the heater has to work even harder to heat the water in your home; and, therefore, it uses more energy.
     
  • Try cooking with toaster ovens, air fryers, and microwaves to reduce cooking time and energy.
     

Use electronic timers for lamps and appliances. Timers can be used to automatically turn appliances on and off. This is especially useful for those times of the day you are out of the home.

 

 

Are you gifting electronics this year?

 

 

Tablets: Energy Star rated tablets use four times less energy than streaming on a laptop and 15 times less than a desktop computer.

 

Televisions: Energy Star rated options save on average 27 percent in energy costs. Look for Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) to reduce energy consumption.

 

Wireless Speakers: These speakers are convenient at home and on the go. Energy Star options use 44 percent energy without sacrificing technology or quality.

 

Sound Bars: Energy Star devices are available for these too and can save you about 70 percent in energy costs. verses corded options.

 

 

 

 

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