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Hot tips to save energy during cold months

• Oct 4, 2016 at 10:00 AM

October 5 marks the inaugural Energy Efficiency Day, a day dedicated to the collaborative effort of regional and national organizations in promoting energy efficiency. In honor of Energy Efficiency Day, Efficiency Smart offers the following tips to help keep your home comfortable while saving energy and money during the colder months:

• Check the thermostat: Once the heating season has arrived, keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees or lower when you’re at home. Lower the temperature when everyone leaves for the day and before going to bed. Consider a programmable thermostat, which can automatically adjust the temperature to these settings. Remember, it costs more to keep a house constantly warm than to heat it up as needed.Don’t be burned by your fireplace: Unless there is a fire burning, you should keep your fireplace damper closed. An open damper will allow warm air (that you paid to heat) to escape your home.

• Seal gaps and cracks: Caulk gaps and cracks around window frames, and consider putting interior plastic on your windows (these kits are available in most hardware stores). For doors, use weather stripping and door sweeps to keep cold air out and warm air in.
Let warm air flow: Dust or vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters, air return vents and heat duct openings regularly. Also, make sure that furniture, carpets and drapes don’t block the flow of air.

• Light the night efficiently: Switch to ENERGYSTAR® certified LEDs and CFLs, as they use at least 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs. 

• Festive savings: Decorating your home for the holidays? Consider switching to LED holiday lights so you can enjoy your lighting display without paying as much in energy costs. Better yet, consider using greenery or other decorations that don’t require electric use at all.

• Seasons change, so should your furnace filter: A dirty furnace filter will reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Cleaning or replacing your filter as necessary will go a long way toward maintaining the efficiency of your furnace and decreasing your heating bills. This will also improve the air quality in your home. 

• Let the sun shine in: Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.

• Save year-round on seasonal sales: Taking advantage of seasonal sales? Look for the EnergyStar label on electronics and appliances.

• Save while away from home: Advanced power strips help prevent electronics from continuing to use power, even when they aren’t turned on. Plug multiple electronics and appliances into an advanced power strip and turn the power strip off when your products aren’t in use. This is especially helpful if you are spending time away from home during the holiday season.

Efficiency Smart offers business and residential energy efficiency services to customers of participating municipal electric systems. More information about the services and financial incentives available through Efficiency Smart can be found at efficiencysmart.org or by calling 877-889-3777.

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