With the coming of autumn, the days get shorter and the leaves turn color and fall. Autumn also is the time of year when a homeowner’s thoughts turn to the anticipation of ever-rising winter energy costs. ‘Tis the season of dreading the monthly heating bills.
However, winter energy costs need not be a source of concern. By using a few simple methods, homeowners can find that keeping comfortable during the cold season is well within their budget.
Probably the easiest way to cut heating costs is to turn down the thermostat setting by a couple of degrees and dressing warmly. This can save an average homeowner about $180 a year on their energy bill.
Most property owners know that a lot of energy can be saved by weatherizing gaps around windows and doors to keep heat from escaping. Another easy fix is to unplug electronics such as computers and televisions that will suck up electricity, even when they are not in use.
Use your dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand. Studies have shown that the machines are more efficient in the use of both water and even electricity, when used to heat the water. Just be certain the dishwasher is full before running it to achieve the maximum benefit.
When you run that dishwasher, also make certain you do so in off-peak hours. Peak hours for energy usage are when power companies charge the most for electricity. This can be a 30 to 60 percent increase in the off-peak rate. So scheduling your use of major appliances like the oven or the washer and dryer can result in hefty savings. Typically, peak hours are 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you can, save major chores for the weekend, which is considered off-peak.
Some chores will actually lower your energy bills. If you clean your furnace filter every two months you can see its efficiency increase by as much as 50 percent. Refrigerators will also run more efficiently if you clean the condenser coils.
Theses are just a few of the tips that can lower your winter energy costs. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.