Sunday, November 1, 2009

Top 10 winter energy saving ideas

Scarier than Halloween, it's nearing time again for those winter heating bills. Gas and energy prices might give us a little bit of a break this year, but don't overlook some basic ways to keep dollars in your pocket. Here's 10 reminders for winter energy savings:
  1. Have routine maintenance performed on your heating system. This includes changing filters. If you have a media filter that gets changed once every 6 months, now might be a good time to do it.
  2. Insulate and close air leaks. Usually the cheapest way to save money on your heating bills.
  3. Fix those window and door drafts. Storm windows, caulk, weatherstripping, plastic seal - whatever it takes.
  4. If you have a fireplace, but don't use it, you may want to insert a chimney balloon into the flue to avoid your heat going up the chimney. A piece of insulation may serve the same purpose - but don't forget it's there!
  5. If you are still doing some fall landscaping, look for ways to plant evergreens that will block cold northerly winds.
  6. Have a hot tub? Empty and winterize unless you really plan to use it during the winter months.
  7. Use windows and sunlight to your advantage. Let the sun shine in during the day whenever possible to gain some natural heating.
  8. Program your thermostat for lower temperatures while you are away or sleeping. Don't have a programmable thermostat? Inexpensive ones can be purchased for less than $50 at places like Lowe's and Home Depot. Usually easy to install too. Another big bang for the buck item.
  9. Reverse ceiling fans to push hot air off ceilings (especially helpful in rooms with a cathedral ceiling).
  10. Put an insulation blanket on your water heater tank and limit the temperature to 120 degrees.

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