Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Mother Nature is bringing the Valley freezing temperatures, and—potentially—higher heating bills. Following these energy-saving tips will help you stay cozy while keeping your utility bill under control.
Despite holiday shopping having stretched many household budgets thin and Mother Nature bringing freezing temperatures, you don’t necessarily have to dread opening January’s electric bill. Just keep your thermostat under control.
“With every degree you crank up your thermostat, you can add another 3 percent to your electric bill,” says Frank Rapley, general manager for EnergyRight Solutions, TVA’s groundbreaking energy efficiency program.
“It’s simple to lower your electric bill by controlling your usage,” he says. Rapley explains that your electric bill is based on the amount of power you use each month. The less electricity used, the lower your power bill.
To help keep your monthly electricity usage under control, Rapley recommends following TVA’s energy saving tips:
- Open Wide: Take advantage of nature. Keep curtains open on the south side of the house and closed on the north during the day to let the warming sunlight in.
- Dial It Down: Try keeping your thermostat set to 68°F. Turn it down even more when no one is home for several days.
- Get Set: Install an ENERGY STAR-certified programmable thermostat that will automatically turn down the temperature when you leave the house, and up the heat when you’re on the way home.
- Pave the Way: Insulate the path hot air takes from your furnace or heat pump to the vent in your room. That means wrapping heating ducts in insulation, and repairing any air leaks you encounter as you go.
- Keep It Clean: Change air filters in your heating system on a monthly basis. Dirty filters force your heating system to work harder, thereby using more energy.
- Strip Down: Lay down weather stripping around windows or doors; alternatively, caulk them. This helps keep cold weather out and warm air in.
- Seal of Approval: Seal exterior light switches and electrical outlets—these are often overlooked leaks.
- Fill 'Er Up: Add insulation to your attic, and stuff it into crawlspaces and any accessible exterior walls. The more insulation the better.
- Put a Damper on It: Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use. You don’t want to send warm air up the chimney.
- Treat Your Tootsies: If you have hardwood or tile floors, use area rugs to keep your feet warm. Bonus: They add beauty, too.
Want to get more information about how to create a more energy efficient home? Visit EnergyRight Solutions for Home to learn more.