Practical energy savings tips can be implemented as new season dawns

Practical energy savings tips can be implemented as new season dawns
Using less water is just one way to conserve on your energy bill this fall. (file)

It may not feel like Autumn, but the cooler temperatures will be here before you know it. Here are some ways you can take advantage of milder days before winter sets in.

Get your ductwork checked

If your climate control is going to be off for a bit anyway, this is a great time to call a professional to check your ducts. Lint can gather, and cut the efficiency of your unit. Clean those out, and let your home breathe easier.

Make a schedule for your filters

You have a calendar on your phone? Use it. Schedule a reminder to check the filters on your HVAC system. Some filters require replacement every month, while others can be rated for three months. Make this habit easy, by timing your changes with the change of the seasons, and you can cut your energy use by 5-15%.

Use less water

If you’re typical, then more than a sixth of your energy use goes into heating water. Which means that if you have a leak, you’re just wasting money. Installing a low-flow showerhead can also reduce the amount of hot water you use, saving you money on both utility bills.

Check your water heater

Swap out lightbulbs to more energy efficient models for savings. (file)

Do more than just check the setting; actually touch your water heater. If the tank seems warm, then you’re wasting energy. An insulating blanket for your water heater can cut your heat loss by anywhere from 25-45%.

Swap out those bulbs

The average 60-watt incandescent bulb (running for a couple hours a day) costs between four and five dollars a year. You can get the same amount of light from a 12-watt LED bulb, which will operate for about a dollar a year. If that doesn’t sound like much, multiply it out by the number of bulbs in your home – and that an LED light is rated to last 25 times as long.

Power down

Today’s computers boot more quickly than they used to, so there isn’t as much need to keep them on all of the time. Just using the power management features on your PC can save the average family $30 every year. Turn off your monitor if you aren’t using it for the next 20 minutes – and go ahead and power down the computer if you aren’t using it for the next two hours.

Dial back that thermostat

When you’re done using your computer, power down to conserve energy. (file)

Cutting back on your temperature by a few degrees can work wonders. If you have a programmable thermostat, that’s even better. You can set a less-comfortable temperature during the workday and during sleep hours, with a nice warm-up just before anyone needs it.

Let the sunshine in

When the chill starts to bite, you can open your blinds and curtains during the day. Let the sun keep your home warm when you can. Keep them closed on the shady side and at night, to keep that warmth trapped.

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