We all know, winter here in Richmond, Indiana is COLD. We see higher moisture and the lowest temperatures throughout the season. Energy efficiency may be the new buzzword, but saving energy during winter makes economic sense.
When the cold shows its dreary head, the overall demand for energy dramatically increases.
Heating can account for 55% of a home’s total energy usage.
In addition to heating, other things in your home may demand increased energy consumption during the winter months too.
These include running the hot water heater more for warmer showers and/or baths, increased kitchen appliance usage, and even electric blankets.
In this guide, you will be presented with simple strategies that will help you save money during the winter. The following list includes these strategies.
While all may not apply to you, we are sure that some will help you in saving energy during winter and reduce how much you spend:
- Set Thermostat Lower
- Reduce the Temperature on Water Heater
- Let the sun shine in
- Switch to water-efficient faucets and showerheads
- Wash laundry on cold
- Reverse the Fans to blow heat back down
- Seal leaks in your home that let cold air in
- Change the filter on your heating system
- Get your heating system tuned up
- Winterize your home
SET YOUR THERMOSTAT LOWER
When utilizing your homes heater, set it at 68°F. This will result in your heater operating less and using less energy.
If you will be out of the home, you may want to consider either completely turning the unit off or setting the thermostat at 63°F.
When sleeping, you may also use this temperature setting.
TURN THE WATER HEATER DOWN
To offset your energy costs, consider setting your hot water heater down to 120°F. The lower you have the temperature set, the less the heater has to work to heat the water.
In addition to reducing the temperature of the heater, you may also integrate a water heater blanket to help in insulating the tank so that it does not take as much energy to keep the water warm during the winter.
LET THE SUN SHINE IN
Don’t let those sunny days go to waste. If you have windows in rooms that receive direct sunlight, open up those curtains and let that light shine through.
This will help in heating up the inside of your home without having to depend completely on your heating system.
In the same respect, if you have windows in rooms that do not have access to direct sunlight, keep those curtains closed to help keep the warmth inside and the cold air outside.
To reduce energy consumption this winter, install showerheads and faucets that are water-efficient or low-flow.
You may also integrate toilet systems that are considered to be energy efficient.
WASH ON COLD
If you have a washing machine at your home that you use, reduce how much you use hot water to clean your laundry. Instead, use cold water.
Reserve hot water usage until there is someone suffering from an illness in your home or you are washing bedding.
By using cold water, you can save $30 or more a year in energy costs.
REVERSE THE FAN FLOW
If you have ceiling fans in your home, run them in reverse.
When fans run in reverse, it pushes the warm air from your heating system down.
Hot air rises. Due to this fact, the hottest air in the home is often near the ceiling.
By running a ceiling fan in reverse during the winter months, that air is pushed back down – where you can feel it.
Not only does this make you warmer, but it will also result in your heater running less.
CHECK FOR LEAKS
Do you know of any air leaks throughout your home? If yes, then get them sealed immediately.
These are most often around windows, doors, pipes, and electrical systems that run in and out of the home.
You may typically use caulking to seal these leaks. But, it depends on where they are located and the surrounding materials.
CHANGE YOUR FILTER
If your heating system has a filter, it is important that you change it regularly.
There are many factors that must be considered when deciding when to change a filter.
Examples include the age of your system, the size of your home, how many people live in the home, if there are any pets in the home, and if anyone suffers from any type of respiratory condition or medical condition – such as allergies or asthma.
If you are unsure as to how often to change the filter on your system, contact a professional HVAC specialist for the information that you require.
TIME FOR A TUNE-UP
It is important that you have your heating system checked and maintained for the winter months.
This involves using a professional, who will evaluate the system thoroughly to ensure that all components are working properly.
If anything needs cleaned, adjusted, or replaced, the professional will take care of this for you.
Finally, you need to winterize your home. This will help you save a tremendous amount of money on your heating costs during the winter months.
A professional will be able to come in, seal up holes, install weather-stripping, and seal gaps near windows and the foundation of your home.
Energy Efficiency Makes Dollars & Sense
Factors That Impact Your Energy Costs
Generally speaking, there are a lot of factors that have a direct impact on your energy costs. These include the following:
- Colder Temperatures
- Amount of Days in Your Billing Cycle
- Holiday/Guest Activities
- Shorter Hours of Daylight
- Any Drafts Making Their Way into Your Home
- The Health of Your Heating System
- Products/Items That Use Additional Energy such as Electrical Vehicles, Hot Tubs, Shops, and if You Use electrical-based items to remove snow and ice
We Can Help
If you have discovered that your energy costs have increased now that the cold weather has set in, it is time to evaluate your plumbing and HVAC system to uncover the culprit. Let us help you find out how saving energy during winter can help your wallet.
While it is true that there is a higher demand for heat in the winter – be it hot water, gas, or electrical- there are steps that may be taken to reduce energy usage.
We here at Reynolds can come in and evaluate your home to determine if there are steps that may be taken to offset your costs.
We specialize in plumbing, heating, and air in Richmond and all of Wayne County, Indiana. For more information, call us today.