Fall is truly in swing when you feel that chilly nip in the air.
With early morning temperatures dipping into the 40s, take some steps now to prevent precious warmth from escaping your home. Here are seven tried-and-true ways to use less energy and save money:
Prepare your heating system for cold weather
Before temperatures drop further, call a technician to service your heating system. Replace or clean the heating system filters each month to increase energy efficiency.
Lower the temperature on your water heater and turn on savings
The water heater is your home’s second-largest energy user. According to the Department of Energy, turning back the dial from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can save the average household more than $400 annually.
Add a water-tank blanket
Create a water-heating bonus by using an insulating blanket around your electric water heater, available at any home improvement store. The thicker the insulation, the more energy you’ll save.
Keep the cold out
Reduce air leaks and you may shave your household energy bill. Use weatherstripping to stop air leaks around exterior doors and windows. Use caulk or other sealants to fill cracks and stop drafts along floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, window frames, plumbing penetrations, fans, vents and electrical outlets. Consider adding insulation in the attic, basement and outside walls.
Set the thermostat at 68 degrees
Keep the thermostat at 68 degrees when you’re at home. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you save about 2% on your heating bill. Install a programmable thermostat from an Alabama Power Appliance Center to save even more: set the temperature lower when you go to bed or leave the house.
Use electric space heaters wisely
Only use portable electric space heaters to warm the room or area you are in. Turn them off when you leave the room. Buy thermostatically controlled models.
Tuck into some warm socks to hold in body heat. Research shows we feel colder when our toes are exposed.