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Ways to Save Energy and Money in Cold Weather
Winter brings with it more pressure on energy costs as heating systems work harder and we’re staying indoors longer, using more lighting and appliances. All that adds up to higher energy usage. Here are a few ways to help control higher winter energy bills:
- Set your thermostat as low as possible, even lower while you’re away or sleeping. Installing a programmable thermostat makes this an automatic process. Wear extra layers and use extra blankets to comfortable.
- Change air filters on your HVAC system monthly to help your system operate efficiently.
- Have your heat pump serviced according to your manufacturer’s recommendations for maximum operating efficiency.
- Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows during the daytime to let the sun help naturally heat your home. Be sure to close them at night.
- Wash clothes in cold water when possible, take shorter showers and only run dishwashers and laundry with full loads. Low-flow faucets and showerheads also help.
- If you use a space heater, heat only the room you are in and do not leave unattended.
- When a fireplace isn’t in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed.
- Seal air leaks so you don’t lose warm air or let cold air in. Do-it-yourself measures include caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping seams, cracks and openings to the outside, especially around doors and windows. You can also install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Replace older model light bulbs with LED options. Turn off lights you don’t need.
- Use power strips to turn off power to devices that constantly use energy even when off such as TVs and game systems.
- Switch ceiling fans to run a clockwise direction to push warm air down.
- Consider emptying and turning off spare refrigerators and chest freezers, which can help since these appliances are always “on” and using electricity.
- To see your daily electric usage, sign up for Blue Ridge Energy’s free Usage Tracker for members on the mobile app or online at: www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com/UsageTracker. This tool is helping many members understand home usage patterns for ideas on how to be more energy efficient to control costs.
For more ideas, visit Blue Ridge Energy’s website for 101 Easy Ways to Save Energy and Money: www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com/101.
Blue Ridge Energy is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 77,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties.