Saving Energy this Winter

Daylight Savings Time is officially behind us and we’re gearing up for chillier (and hopefully rainy) weather. With our moderate climate in the Bay Area, it’s common that my clients get used to lower-than-average utility bills through the summer and early fall. If your heating bills skyrocket during the winter, let’s explore ways to save.

Get A Tune-Up

For many of us, we haven’t used our furnace in months. It’s time for a check-up and possibly a tune-up. By keeping this appliance in tip-top shape, it doesn’t have to work so hard. If it’s time to replace your unit, do your research into Energy Star options that have rebates. The same is true for other energy-hungry appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers. Get into the habit of cleaning your dryer’s lint trap between loads; it’ll save you ~$40/year and reduce fire risk.

Smart Home Technology

With the Internet of Things, everything seems to be wifi friendly. If you’re a gadget person, check out smart home technology like a Nest thermostat or Hue lighting. You can save money all-year round by managing interior temperatures and lighting that fit your lifestyle.

Lower the Thermostat

PG&E recommends that you set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower. Each degree above 68 uses 3-5% more energy. Feel chilled? Now’s the time to break out those cozy sweaters and socks.

Get a Home Checkup

Older homes are notorious for being energy inefficient. EnergyStar.gov has a list of common culprits, like:

  • Old windows and poorly sealed doors as they create drafts.
  • Missing or too-thin insulation in an attic and crawl space. Improving insulation can help both during the summer heat and winter cold.
  • Unwrapped water heaters. An insulating jacket minimizes heat loss.

For a quick fix, consider an under-door draft blocker. It’s amazing how these inexpensive stoppers can keep precious heat in and the cold out.

Love The Holidays Without Becoming Clark Griswold

Can small planes navigate by the holiday decorations and lights on your home? If so, you’d make Clark Griswold of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation proud. By all means, enjoy the holidays. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your twinkly lights to more energy-efficient LED versions. However you celebrate, realize the extra holiday cheer inside and out will impact your electric bill.

Need Other Cost Savings Help?

Want to find other ways to save on your monthly bills? Need help in creating a workable spending plan? Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

 

Photo credit: TheUglySweaterShop, Brian Gautreau

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