Finding ways to save yourself money is always a top priority, whether this is at our home or at your business. The good news is that oftentimes there is always an additional step you can take to save more. The blog will run you through several checks to see if you are missing a free or inexpensive opportunity as we head into the fall and winter seasons.
Manage your windows
There are a few ways you can save quite a bit just by inspecting your windows. Even if you can’t install new windows to replace drafty old ones, you can seal air leaks to help prevent the cooler air from getting in. Another option to explore is covering these drafty windows with a tight, heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet with tape.
Sealing leaks or drafts around your windows (and doors) will improve energy efficiency, but you can also utilize the heat from the sun. Opening your curtains on the west and south side of your home or business during the day, and closing them at night will save you a lot of money for a minimal amount of work.
Manage your heating system and thermostat
Much like your car, your heating system needs regular maintenance to ensure it is running at maximum efficiency. You should be changing or cleaning air filters as needed for your furnace, as heating system failure is often caused by dirt or neglect. An easy way to save yourself or your business in the future is to keep up with simple maintenance now. Wood or pellet-burning heaters should have their vents cleaned regularly, as well as the inside of the appliance.
Turning down the temperature on both your thermostat and water heater will also save you a large chunk of change. With regard to the thermostat, it is estimated that with each degree your normal temperature is lowered, you save about 2-3% in energy annually, and such a nominal change in temperature would probably go unnoticed! Your water heater eats up a large amount (sometimes up to 25%!) of the energy consumed in your home, and setting it to a warm setting will save you, your kids, your employees, or others from burning themselves. With newer thermostats, you can also program them to turn the temperature back when you’re asleep or out of the home or office. What a simple way to save around 10% more a year.
Manage your lighting
Updating your old lights will offer you some immediate savings. Switch from old incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) wherever possible. These lights not only save you in lighting costs, but often will last longer too.
We all love those holiday light displays, but these can often be fairly old and huge energy sinks. LED lights, while expensive up front, can pay for themselves over time, while being safer, sturdier, and longer lasting. Check out the chart from energy.gov in this blog to get an idea just how much you can save.
Hopefully this can provide you with a good start to saving yourself or your business some money as we move closer to the cooler weather. If you’d like additional ideas, or would like to share your own, feel free to leave us a comment below.