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Energy-Saving Tips For Winter

Energy-Saving Tips For Winter When the temperature falls and your heating system kicks into full gear that is the critical time to pay attention to your energy use. Keep warm and comfortable in the winter by following these simple energy-efficiency tips.

  • It's dark outside - so you'll turn on your lights sooner. Make sure they are energy efficient.
  • Control your thermostat. In the winter, set the heater thermostat at 68°F in the daytime and 55°F at night.
  • Clean or replace your air filters once a month. Your heater uses more energy when the filter is full of dust. Make sure heating registers and draperies, furniture or rugs do not block vents. These vents should also be cleaned regularly with a vacuum or a broom.
  • Use ceiling fans in the winter to push warm air down into the room. Reverse the direction of the blades to turn clockwise in the winter.
  • Adjust your water heater temperature to 120°F. Insulate the hot and cold water pipes that run from your water heater tank. Cover at least the first five feet and keep the insulation three inches away from gas flues. You can find foam sleeves or adhesive-backed foam tape at hardware stores.
  • Seal leaks around electric switches and outlets. Gaskets that fit behind the switch plates and outlets are available at hardware stores.
  • Weatherstrip around doors and windows. Install "sweeps" to stop cold air from sneaking in under outside doors. If the crack under your door is too wide for standard weatherstripping, make a cloth "snake", fill it with sand or beans, and lay it against the bottom of the door to keep the cold air out.
  • Let the sun in. Open your drapes, blinds and shades on sunny winter days to let warmth in and then close them at night to help retain heat.
  • Clean the lint filter in your dryer after each use. This lets the air circulate efficiently and helps dry your clothes quicker.
  • Dry full loads, but don't overload your dryer. Dry loads one right after another to take advantage of built-up heat.
  • Keep your refrigerator away from dishwashers, stoves and heating vents.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils four times a year.
  • Cover your spa or hot tub. Use a well-insulated cover with an R-value rating of 12 and foam insulation that is at least 2 inches thick. This will prevent heat loss and evaporation.

Design Tip
Be sure to keep your chimney clean because it provides a good draft, reducing the likelihood for dangerous gases to build up inside the home during fireplace operation. Keeping the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use prevents up to 8% of heated air from going up the chimney. The most efficient fuel for a wood-burning stove or fireplace is properly dried hardwoods-hickory, oak, maple, or ash.