With summer’s fading memories, now is the time to prepare your home for the cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather that fall and winter bring. You may be thinking “but it’s only the beginning of October,” but October actually happens to be Energy Action Month.
According to the US Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for over half of the energy consumption in an average American home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. Not only is increasing your energy usage harmful to your wallet, but it’s also not great for the environment.
Luckily, there are many things that you can do to prepare your home for the upcoming cooler temperatures that will help you save on heating (and overall energy costs) as well as reduce your environmental impact.
Follow these tips to for preparing your home so that you can save energy and keep your home cozy throughout the fall and winter months.
- Fall is the perfect opportunity for you to hire an HVAC professional to conduct a seasonal HVAC maintenance check to ensure that your heating system is clean and operating at maximum efficiency. Detecting small problems before they turn into big ones is key to remaining comfortable and hassle-free throughout the fall and winter months
- If you heat your home with a furnace or boiler and your furnace or boiler is old, worn out, or inefficient, the simplest solution is to replace it with a modern high-efficiency model. Be sure that you replace the filter at least once per month throughout the season
- Caulk or weatherstrip your windows and doors to seal any air leaks – Ensuring that every single leak is sealed will help save you money, so be sure to check for leaks around pipes, baseboards, and electrical outlets as well
- Clean out your gutters – Clogged gutters and drains form ice dams that prevent your drainage systems from working properly and can lead to all sorts of issues and added energy expenses. Save yourself the stress by repairing any leaks and clearing your gutters and drains now
- Lower your water heater temperature and wrap an insulating blanket around – these easy modifications can lead to significant savings in water heating costs
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans so that they blow air upward towards the ceiling (your fan should be spinning in a clockwise direction when facing you)
In addition to preparing your home for the colder weather, one of the cheapest things you can do to keep your energy costs in check throughout fall and winter is to weatherize your own behavior. For example:
- Use the sun’s rays for heating by keeping your windows and drapes open during the day and closing them at night to prevent heat from escaping. This can help you dial back on the heat during the day
- When you leave for school or work, set your thermostat back at least 8 degrees from where you have it while you’re at home
- When you’re in bed under the covers, comfortably turn down your thermostat between 5 and 8 degrees
- If you use a fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox, or open the nearest window slightly
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning
Saving energy is only one of the many things you can do to help the planet. Other ideas for having an eco-friendly fall and winter include:
- Choose a sustainable future by powering your home Kiwi Energy’s environmentally focused energy and natural gas products
- Compost your leaves
- Bike instead of driving, it’s the perfect weather for it
- Rather than purchasing new cold-weather gear, knit our own, or buy it second hand
- Create your own autumn décor using earth’s natural materials, such as pine cones
- Use human-powered tools to maintain your yard (including lawn mowers, leaf blowers, etc)
- Clean with eco-friendly products
For more tips and ideas for saving energy at home, check out our Energy Saving Tips page.