It can be tempting to turn up your thermostat on those chilly desert winter nights. But if you do, what will your energy bill look like at the end of the month? Here are some tips you can implement in your home to save energy and help keep your utility bills down this winter.
Keep Your Heat Inside
Insulation, weatherstripping, and caulk can help improve energy efficiency. These materials can prevent heat from escaping your home and cold air from entering it. Even small gaps and cracks around windows and doors can make your home feel constantly chilled. The cool air means your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your home at your desired temperature. Look for areas around your home where you can seal any leaks, such as windows and doors with no weatherstripping or caulk or weatherstripping that has become damaged over time.
Use Your Windows
Your windows can be allies, or they can lead to heating issues. To make the best use of them, keep your curtains or blinds open on warm, sunny days when the light shines into your home. The sunlight will help heat your home naturally through a greenhouse effect. On cloudy days, windy days, and at night, keep the curtains shut. You should also aim to use heavier curtains that help insulate your windows under these conditions, as they can help keep the cold out.
Choose to wear a sweater and warm socks when you’re at home relaxing. Dressing warmly can allow you to keep your thermostat at a lower setting than if you were wearing a T-shirt and thin pants. Invest in a warm blanket or throw to snuggle under while watching television. Take advantage of layers you can pull on or off. By choosing to wear warmer clothing around the house, you can turn your thermostat down slightly and still feel comfortable.
Set Your Programmable Thermostat
If you’ve neglected to set your programmable thermostat, it might be when you’re not home. Your utility bills will be lower if you take a moment to set a schedule for your home’s temperature. You can lower the heat when you’re not at home. You can also set your thermostat to be lower at night after everyone goes to bed and automatically return to normal just before everyone wakes up. These small adjustments can help reduce the amount of energy you use.
Check Your Water Heater
Your water heater could be costing you more money on your utility bills than you realize. One way to help improve your water heater’s energy efficiency is to turn its thermostat down to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll still have wonderfully warm showers, but you won’t be wasting energy keeping your water hot. For homes with young children, this step can also help prevent accidental burns.
Another energy-saving step is to insulate your water heater. You can find an insulation blanket to fit the tank, which will help keep the heat inside it. The insulation will make it so the water heater doesn’t have to work as hard. If your water heater is old, however, it might be time to think about replacing it for a more energy-efficient model.
Eliminate Energy Vampires
Walk around your home, and look for items considered to be energy vampires. These devices are ones that, when not in use, are consuming power because they are plugged in even though they are off. Looking around, you can probably see at least one energy vampire in your home with a red light on it. Rather than only turning devices off, unplug them when not in use. Using a powerstrip makes this very easy. It might take longer for them to turn on or warm-up when you plug them back in, but it’s worth the energy savings.
Zen Aire Air Conditioning and Heating is here to help if you’re looking to upgrade your HVAC system to save energy this winter. Call our professional experts at 702-827-5253 to learn more about your options.
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