Fall Back on Your Energy Use

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As the leaves drop, so can your energy bill. You’ll just need to make small adjustments to account for the end of summer.

Temperatures have dropped, football season has started, and people are heading to the local coffee shop for the return of pumpkin spice. Get ready to save energy and money this fall with the tips below, and consider conducting a do-it-yourself energy audit to identify the areas where you can make the biggest difference.

  • Check for air leaks. Caulk and weatherstrip any air leaks in your home to keep heat from escaping.
  • Add insulation. If there is not enough insulation in your basement, attic, or exterior walls, fall is a perfect time to add more. If the insulation has retreated to the point that you can see the edge of the joists, you need more insulation.
  • Replace furnace filters. In the colder months, change or clean your furnace filter monthly to avoid wasting heat.
  • Use your shades. Open the shades on your home’s west and south sides and use the sunlight for heating. When you go to bed, close the shades to retain heat.
  • Remove your AC unit. If possible, remove your window air conditioning unit at the end of the cooling season to minimize heat loss during the winter. If you have a through-the-wall unit that cannot easily be removed, consider installing a cover during winter months to provide insulation and seal in air.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Set the temperature in your home as low as is comfortable with a programmable thermostat to avoid wasting energy. Experts recommend setting your heat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home during the day, 65 degrees at night while you sleep, and 62 degrees whenever you’re away.
  • Adjust the water heater. Lower your water heater’s maximum temperature to around 120 degrees. This will lower your water heating costs by 4%–22% annually.
  • Use 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. Check that your flue is tightly closed to avoid leaks.
  • Set your fans to run clockwise. Set your ceiling fans to run clockwise to push warm air from the ceiling down the walls and around the room.

Have you heard of phantom power? Watch this video to learn about the spooky way that appliances drain excess power and what you can do to prevent it.

Looking for more? Learn about saving energy at home and reducing your energy bill all year round.