12 Easy Tips to Save Energy this Winter

12 Easy Tips to Save Energy this Winter

November 13th, 2012 // 2:23 pm @

This is Florida, but it’s still going to be cold outside. This month, we know you are busy shopping, baking cookies, going to school plays, picking up relatives from out of town, etc., so we are providing easy tips to stay warm, save time, and save some money this winter (so you can buy better presents).

1: Reverse the Ceiling Fan
We are sure that you read our summer tips and ran out and purchased some ceiling fans. Most new fans come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades and brings all the warm air that is rising to the top of your 8’ – 10’ high ceilings right back down to you. Do not underestimate the impact of this simple task.

2: Change Your HVAC Filter
Everyone forgets this one. Replacing your filter every month will not only save you from that strange smell of accumulated lint, dust, and cat hair, but also save you cash. Your appliance will run better if its filter is clean. It will take you 5 minutes to do and, according to the EPA, dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.

3: Drafty Door?
Installing a door draft snake can make a huge difference. There are some that will move with the door itself. These are only around $20 and require no tools. Cannot get any easier.

4: Window Insulation Kits
Window insulation kits are fairly common up north. Check with your local hardware store, otherwise there are many sources for these online. Kits are comprised of sheets of shrink plastic that cover the inside of your window and tape to adhere to the frame. Appying heat around the frame will shrink the plastic and form a tight seal to keep away drafts. All you’ll need are: a hair dryer, scissors, and a tape measure.

5: Install Thermal Curtains
Historically, all homes used curtains to help keep out the cold in winter months. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to help with the draft from your original windows that you have been meaning to weatherize for a while now. You can find many attractive, energy-saving solutions at most large stores and online. Who knows? You may even get a compliment from your mother-in-law on how nice they look.

6: Program the Thermostat
Going away for the holiday? Program your thermostat 5 degrees lower in the winter when you’re away from the house. Consider a programmable thermostat, so you can set the thermostat 5 degrees while you’re sleeping or away at work.

7: Wear a Sweater Inside, Too
Lucky for us; knitted sweaters are making a comeback this year, so it easy for us to find fashionable, warm choices. A good rule of thumb: if you are wearing shorts inside during the winter, your thermostat probably set too high.

8: Insulation Jackets
Consider adding an insulation jacket to the hot water tank to retain heat in the system. This is available at most home improvement stores and is much cheaper than replacing or insulating pipes.

9: LED Lights on the Christmas Tree
LED, or Light Emitting Diodes, are super energy efficient and last longer than your traditional lights. According to Energystar.gov , LED lights consume 70% less energy than conventional incandescent light strands.

10: Water Heater
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Not only will this save you money, but according to the US Department of Energy, reducing your water temperature to 120ºF also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes. This helps your water heater last longer and operate at its maximum efficiency.

11: Lighten Your Loads
Its optimal to fully load the washing machine for every cycle. If you need to run a small load, change the water setting to small loads. Same advice is valid for the dishwasher.

12: Look for Water Leaks in the Bath
A commode that is continuously running can cost up to $27 a month for water usage. Older shower heads can be replaced with high efficiency ones to conserve water.

For more information:
Treehugger.org published a great guide to saving energy and money, 12 Ways to Green Your Home for Winter . JEA has a wonderful brochure on energy saving measures for your home. It can be downloaded in PDF form here .


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