Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21, but I think it’s fair to say in the D.C. metropolitan area, it officially feels like winter comes a bit earlier than that. I just checked the weather channel, and this week’s average high will be a “whopping” 56° F with an average low of approximately 43° F. I’m from Trinidad, so for me, anything below 70° F is grounds for a sweater or a coat if the sun isn’t out. You can ask my coworkers.
As the temperatures outside continue to drop, energy usage for lighting and heating will naturally increase. That is typically because people tend to stay home and do more indoors. Here are the top 5 ways to keep energy usage low this winter:
1. Set your thermostat at 68° F during the day and 60° F at night. You can save approximately 3% on your heating costs for every degree you reduce the temperature below 70° F. Special note for heat pump users:
- If you’re a heat pump user, keep in mind that heat pumps need to stay at a constant setting, unless you have a programmable electronic heat pump thermostat with adaptive recovery. If you’re not sure, check with your heating or air conditioning contractor to determine the type of thermostat you have.
2. Winterize windows with weather stripping (for all moveable joints) and caulk (for non-moving parts). Also, install a window insulation kit to the inside of your windows to help keep cold air out and warm air in
3. Change furnace filters once a month. A well-maintained heating system can save money and increase the comfort level in your home.
4. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
5. Inspect ductwork for any air leakage. If you do feel air leaking at joints, use silver metal duct tape to seal them. You could save up to 10% of your heating costs by eliminating those leaks
For even more tips to save money & energy be sure to check out our energy conservation brochure: 85 Ways to Save Money & Energy. It includes energy savings tips for the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and more.
‘Til the next post,