Temperatures are declining, football season has started again and people are heading to the local coffee shop for the return of pumpkin spice. As we all gear up for fall, home energy saving plans need to be adjusted to account for the end of summer. Virginia Energy Sense’s mission is to help Virginians understand their energy use, and take steps to easily and cost effectively reduce their energy. To ensure you’re prepared this fall, we’re providing you with a list of ways to save energy. Below are some tips you can use to reduce your energy consumption at home.
Seal any leaks – Caulk and weather-strip any leaks and drafts in your home to keep heat from escaping.
Insulate your home – If you check your basement, attic and exterior walls and find there is not enough insulation, fall is a perfect time to add more.
Replace furnace filters – As it starts getting cooler, change or clean your furnace filter once a month to ensure heat is not unnecessarily wasted.
Use your shades – Open your shades on your home’s south side and use the sunlight for heating. When you go to bed, close the curtains to retain heat.
Install a programmable thermostat – Set the temperature in your home as low as comfortably possible with a programmable thermostat to ensure energy is not wasted when you’re away.
Adjust the water heater – Lower your water heater’s maximum temperature to approximately 120 degrees. This will produce savings of 7-11% on water heating costs.
Gasket covers – Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switches to reduce heat loss.
Maintain your fireplace – If your home has a fireplace, make sure the chimney is cleaned and the vent systems are cleared.
LEDs vs. incandescents – Swap out any traditional incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs. They last longer and use less energy!
Check your fans – Make sure your ceiling fans run counter-clockwise to push warm air up into the ceiling and then down along your walls.
For additional tips and advice on saving energy during the fall, you can visit virginiaenergysense.org. Our website also has a detailed residential incentives page where you can check if your energy provider is offering any rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. Preparing your home as the seasons change will not only save you more energy and money, you’ll also help Virginia meet its goal of reduced energy consumption and protect the environment.