As the temperatures drop, here are some things you could do to ‘save some change’
MACON, Ga. — Central Georgia felt its first big chill of the season this week. Temperatures made it down to the 30s on Monday and Tuesday morning.
Even so, many folks probably didn’t run their heat out of fear of running up their power bill early in the season.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to save some change around the house that will allow you to keep your home warmer and more energy efficient this season.
Let’s start with the obvious. Air escapes out of places that are not sealed or insulated properly. Older windows and doors may have seals that have been weathered and cracked.
An easy fix is to use weather caulking or strapping to patch up the holes. While you’re at it, check the attic insulation to make sure there isn’t any exposed ceiling that isn’t insulated. If you can keep the warm air in, you aren’t paying to create extra warm air.
Now to the less obvious. Have you ever considered investing in a programmable thermostat? This is a device that regulates your home’s temperature at different settings throughout the day.
In the wintertime, you can set your house to be cooler while you’re away and warmer while you are at home. This makes your heater work less to keep your home warm throughout the day. Investing in a programmable thermostat will cost you $50-100 upfront at your local hardware store, but this will save you money in the long run.
How about saving money on lightning? Most people don’t want to switch from halogen bulbs to LED bulbs out of fear their house will look like a fish tank. Fortunately, LED bulbs now come in more colors than just bright white.
That soft glow that you’re used to with halogen incandescent bulbs is now an option with LEB bulbs. They also have a longer life than halogen bulbs, and use up to 80% less energy.
You’ll save money on power and you’ll save money by not replacing light bulbs as frequently. Those extra dollars you save could be used to keep your home a bit warmer on those very cold nights
Don’t want to invest in new lights or a new thermostat this winter season? No problem.
One quick and easy way to make your home feel a bit warmer is by reversing the direction of your fan. Since warm air rises, that warm air needs a way to get back down to the ground. The most effective way to do this in the winter time is by reversing the direction of your fan.
This will pull the cold air upward and send the warm air down the walls and back to the floor. This should make your home feel warmer, and could allow you to run your heat a degree or two cooler; saving you money.
There are more ways to save change as the seasons shift.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends opening your windows to take advantage of natural heat from the sun, maintaining heating systems with regular service to keep them up to date, and lowering holiday lighting costs by using LED lights.
Washington Energy Services says you can also find and seal drafts where warm air escapes your home or get a tankless water heater.
People can also use warm clothes and blankets instead of turning up the heat, keeping blinds closed when it’s cloudy outside to keep their homes insulated, or use space heaters in small areas of the home – like the bathroom or kitchen – instead of cranking up the heat all around, according to The Simple Dollar.
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