Fall Into Energy Savings: Nine Tips for a Cozy and Cost-Effective Autumn

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Savor the coziness of fall in Virginia while saving on your energy bills. These nine tips can help you stay warm, comfortable, and energy-efficient throughout the cold-weather months.

  1. Seal Air Leaks To Save Energy. Bid farewell to drafty homes by sealing air leaks. By sealing your home to keep out the elements, you not only enhance your comfort but also lower your heating costs by as much as 20%. Virginia Energy Sense walks you through the steps you can take, ranging from weatherstripping and caulking to adding a door draft stopper.
  2. Improve Insulation. A well-insulated home retains warmth effectively. Fall is the ideal time to inspect and improve your home’s insulation, as it’s more manageable to explore your attic and crawl spaces in moderate fall temperatures. 
  3. Keep Your Furnace in Top Shape. Stay ahead of the cold weather by maintaining your furnace. You’ll want to replace or clean your air filter once a month. If the filter is dirty, your heating system has to work harder to keep you warm. You should also schedule annual service for your home heating system to ensure that it runs efficiently and lasts a long time.
  4. Harness Natural Light and Heat. You don’t need solar panels to make use of the sun. Keep your drapes and blinds open during the day to let in sunlight and warm your home for free. When temperatures start to drop at night, close your curtains to keep the chill from the windows out of the room.
  5. Stash or Cover Your AC Unit. Don’t let your warm air and hard-earned money go flying out the window. If you’re using a removable window air conditioning unit, prepare for winter by taking it out before cold temperatures arrive. If your window-mounted air conditioner stays in place all year, you can still cover the unit to prevent cold air from seeping into your home. A simple quilted cover will keep out cold air and protect your unit so it’s working well when temperatures start to rise again. Finally, if you use a through-the-wall unit, cover it up for additional insulation.
  6. Optimize Your Heating With a Programmable Thermostat. Enjoy energy-efficient temperature control at the push of a button. ENERGY STAR estimates that a programmable thermostat can save your home up to $50 annually. In addition, your energy provider may offer a rebate for installing one.
  7. Seal Electrical Outlets With Foam Gaskets. Prevent heat from escaping through your walls by installing foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switches. Just unscrew the plate on your wall and insert the foam gasket, which acts as an extra layer of insulation in your walls. It’s an easy do-it-yourself project with energy-saving rewards.
  8. Maintain Your Fireplace. Prepare your fireplace for the season ahead. Make sure to keep your chimney flue tightly closed when the fireplace is not being used. This simple step helps keep warm air inside your home. If you don’t use your fireplace at all, consider plugging and sealing the chimney flue.
  9. Get the Most Out of Your Ceiling Fans. Ceiling fans aren’t just for the summertime. Running the fan clockwise pushes hot air down to the floor, helping you stay warm and comfortable. You can change the direction of the fan’s rotation by flipping a switch on the fan itself or using the fan’s remote control.

This year, welcome autumn with open arms, knowing that your home is optimized for comfort and cost-effective living! And read Virginia Energy Sense’s seasonal tips for more ways to save energy no matter the time of year.