For many, the winter season means holiday shopping, hot chocolate, and time spent with friends and family. But trying to stay warm and cozy during the winter days can take a toll on your utility bills. Here are some tips to conserve energy and save on your bills.
- Air seal and insulate your home. The cold air can seep into your home from under doors, around windows, and even through electrical outlets. This not only makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat your home but can also lead to significant costs. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. You can also use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.
- Water heating accounts for about 18% of your home's energy use. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120°F to save energy.
- Open your south-facing windows. Take advantage of the world's best HVAC system — the sun. Allowing the sun to naturally heat your home will not only help your bill but also allow you to experience the sunlight on what can otherwise be cold and gloomy winter days.
- Switch to LED bulbs. Winter is a time for large family gatherings, the holidays, and tons of decor. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent, which can lead to huge savings on your electricity bills, especially if you opt for LED holiday lights as well.
- Upgrade your wood-burning fireplace to EPA certified model. Not only will this be more efficient and save you on energy bills, but you might even be able to receive a tax credit. Don’t forget to keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter.
- Use a smart or programmable thermostat. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°F to 15°F for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating bills.
- Unplug electronics. Unplug any kitchen appliances, TVs, computers, and other electronics when you are not in the house. Electronics, if plugged in, can still use up energy when they are turned off.
- Maintain your heating system. Don’t forget to replace any air filters as needed and schedule regular maintenance for your heating system.
When it comes time to get your heating system checked out, remember that A. Borrelli is your source for HVAC in Westchester, New York.