Try Out These Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips

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With colder weather on its way, now’s the time to start thinking about fall and winter energy-saving tips. Even in South Plains where winter weather is mild, you stand to save money on utility bills with these tips.

Adjust the Thermostat

The most obvious way to save is to turn down the temperature. Here’s how to set your thermostat for savings without sacrificing comfort:

  • Set the temperature to 68 degrees: This is a comfortable temperature if you dress for the season. This setting saves about 8 percent compared to keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees.
  • Program setbacks: When you’re away or sleeping, set the temperature back at least 5 degrees. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set automatic recovery periods so you don’t come home or wake up to an icebox.
  • Add a humidifier: Moist air feels warmer than dry air because less moisture evaporates from your skin when the air is already saturated with water. By running a whole-house humidifier, you can maintain a comfortable 50 percent relative humidity and turn down the thermostat a degree or two without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Don’t crank up the heat: If you feel chilly, first put on a sweater. If that’s not good enough, adjust the thermostat by one degree. Cranking up the heat doesn’t warm your home any faster and only wastes money as you surpass the ideal temperature.

Use Alternative Heating Methods

Your furnace isn’t the only option for heating your home. These creative fall and winter energy-saving tips help you heat your home for less:

  • Open the curtains: On sunny days, let the rays pour in, providing free light and heat. Remember to close the curtains at night to insulate the windows.
  • Reverse the ceiling fan: Warm air gets trapped near the ceiling. Send it back down by reversing the fan’s direction and running it on low.
  • Let the oven heat your home: Bake delicious comfort foods and warm your home at the same time by cooking and baking when it’s chilly outside.

Seal and Insulate

Air leaks and inadequate insulation allow cold outdoor air to infiltrate your home. The following fall and winter energy-saving tips help you tighten it up:

  • Check doors and windows for weatherstripping: These operable joints should seal tightly when closed. To test this, slip a dollar bill into the window or door in question. Removing the bill should be impossible if the seal is airtight. If the dollar slides around or falls out, consider replacing the worn out weatherstripping.
  • Add caulk around leaky joints: Anywhere two building materials come together is an opportunity for air leakage. Check around windows and doors, bathroom exhaust fans, wiring and plumbing penetrations, the attic hatch, and dryer vent for gaps and cracks. If you find any, seal them with caulk.
  • Boost attic insulation levels: The attic is a prime place for wasted energy as heat rises and leaks out through the attic. To prevent this, seal attic floor penetrations with expanding spray foam insulation. Then add a several-inch-thick layer of cellulose or fiberglass.

Maintain Your Furnace

The furnace is the primary source of heat in your South Plains home. Keep it in good working order with these tips:

  • Schedule annual preventative maintenance: A fall furnace tune-up helps ensure your equipment runs smoothly all season long. Professional maintenance includes cleaning the blower motor, lubricating moving parts, checking the fuel line, inspecting the heat exchanger and changing the air filter.
  • Check the air filter monthly: Throughout the heating season, continue to check and change the air filter as it becomes clogged with dirt and debris. This can decrease energy consumption by 5 percent.

Reduce Water Heating Costs

Water heating typically accounts for about 18 percent of your wintertime utility bills. Use these fall and winter energy-saving tips to decrease the amount you pay:

  • Insulate the water heater: A special jacket fits around the tank to lower standby heat loss.
  • Lower the water heater temperature: Turn it down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees to save on water heating costs and reduce scalding at the tap.
  • Use less hot water: Install low-flow plumbing fixtures, take shorter showers, fix leaks, and run the dishwasher and washing machine with full batches only.
  • Maintain the water heater: Every three months, drain a quart of water from the tank to remove sediment that lowers heating efficiency.

With these fall and winter energy-saving tips, you’re ready to save big as the seasons change. For more information, please contact Bruce Thornton A/C in South Plains today.

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With more than 50 years’ experience providing heating, ventilation and air conditioning services for residential and commercial customers, we at Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning are proud to be the South Plains TX area’s comfort specialists. We specialize in system replacement, preventive maintenance and repair, all with the goal of keeping your heating, cooling, refrigeration and plumbing systems functioning at maximum efficiency.


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