Though it may not feel like it, we officially entered fall as of September 21st. With the changing seasons, we wanted to highlight a few ways you can become more energy efficient by adapting to the season. The cooler weather can bring many savings to your utility bill with minimal effort on your part.
Even though it’s still hot outside, now is a good time to begin preparing your house for winter. After all, who wants to winterize when it’s 10 degrees outside? As you begin to switch over to heat, make sure your attic is well insulated to minimize the amount of energy lost through the ceiling. Consider that the builder of your house likely only installed the minimum required amount of insulation. Today’s insulation standards are different than those of yesteryear, and you likely can achieve energy savings by adding more or better insulation.
Next, double check that outside air is not seeping into your house around windows or doors. Cut down on a drafty house by adding weather stripping or caulking around openings. By cutting out drafts in a house, you can achieve savings of 5% all the way up to 30%.
The fall is also a good time to have your heating and cooling unit inspected. Units should be inspected annually or at intervals recommended by the unit’s manufacturer. When it’s time to replace an old unit, the upfront costs may seem high, but you should recoup some value through energy efficiency over time.
When it’s possible, think about cooling and heating only certain rooms while in use. Huntsville Utilities estimates that two degrees on the thermostat can equate to 5% on a utility bill. As an alternative to turning on the air conditioner or heater, consider putting on a sweater or dressing in layers.
Lastly, make sure you’re taking advantage of more efficient lightbulbs. This is a great step to take in any season. The government estimates that lighting accounts for 10% of a power bill. By switching to LED lighting from incandescent old-fashioned bulbs, you can take a sizable bite out of your annual bill.
If you are still curious about further savings, check out Energy.gov for more tips.