Energy Efficient Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall Weather
The summer season is officially over for the year, and as sad as we are to see it go, we are looking forward to a beautiful fall season. Read these tips on how to prepare your home for the colder months ahead.
How to prepare for autumn energy bills
Program your thermostat:
Instead of raising the thermostat during the cool weather, grab a sweater. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says heating a house around 2,280 square feet adds up to about 34 percent of a homeowners’ utility bill. For every degree turned down on the thermostat, you will save about four percent in monthly utility expenses. A great way to cut down on heating expenses is by installing a programmable thermostat. You can control the temperature for cooler when you’re at work, sleeping, or on vacation, and automatically heat it up — only when you need it.
To save even more money, if your furnace is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient model. Almost half of your heating bill comes from space heating. That’s why experts recommend you find out what maintenance is required for your system to ensure it’s running efficiently, and not draining your money every month.
Check your water heater temperature:
Many water heaters can operate fine at 120-degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). Lowering the temperature can also help increase the lifespan of the heater. For every 10 degrees, the water temperature is lowered can save you about three percent on the utility bill. Wrapping an insulating blanket around your water heater can also save about four percent in water heating costs.
Seal cracks and leaks:
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing leaks around the house may save about 5 to 30 percent in energy costs. Devoting a day one weekend to caulking or weatherstripping your windows and doors will help seal air leaks, which could be big pulls on your energy usage. Obviously, you don’t want to pay to heat up the air outside your house, so every little leak you can seal will save you money. Check to see if there are cracks or leaks around electrical outlets, window frames, baseboards, and around pipes too.
Clear Your Gutters:
Gutters collect all the debris from nearby birds, trees, toys, and general gunk. If water cannot flow through your gutters, water can gather in areas of your roof or basement, cause rusting, and lead to an increased risk of decay, moisture, and leaks. This means cleaning out your gutters a few times a year, especially in the fall, is important in saving you energy and frustration.
Controlling the humidity in your house can make your home more energy-efficient, as it reduces the need for extra heating and cooling. You won’t need to run fans or heaters, which means lower heating and cooling costs caused by leaks.