ponderosa-pine-exterior-winter

Save Energy this Winter by following these Tips

Save Energy this Winter by following these Tips

With the winter season in full swing here in Ohio, we here at First Choice Exteriors thought that it would be beneficial to post about some steps that can be taken to save on energy costs. This is by no means a complete list, however our goal is to provide some idea’s that will get all of us thinking about small steps that we all can take.

Five Actions to cut your heating costs

  1. Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating).
  2. Replace or clean furnace filters as recommended. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace “tune-up.” Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs.
  3. Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the “normal” setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner’s manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7-11 percent of water heating costs.
  4. Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.
  5. Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace.

Fast and Free Ideas for cost savingspicture-uhac9b8c328a9effef1c2115d031d188a3-psfb4b8415fc64a154836f06e975dae43-735-e-francis-st-aspen-co-816111

  1. Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating).
  2. Replace or clean furnace filters as recommended. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace “tune-up.” Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs.
  3. Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the “normal” setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner’s manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7-11 percent of water heating costs.
  4. Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.
  5. Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace.

Energy Saving Investments for the future

Choose ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics. When buying new appliances, choose ENERGY STAR-certified models. For example, a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator uses about 20 percent less energy than a standard new refrigerator, and 46 percent less than one made in 1980. A new Energy Star® clothes washer uses nearly 50 percent less energy than a standard washer.

Install a programmable thermostat. If you have a heat pump, select a model designed for heat pumps. Set-back thermostats can save up to 15 percent on energy costs.

Increase ceiling insulation. If your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily insulated, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38 to reduce heating costs by 5-25 percent.

Seal ducts. Leaking ductwork accounts for more than 25 top 30 percent of heating costs in an average California home. Consider hiring a contractor to test the tightness of your ducts and repair leaks and restrictions in your duct. Many utilities have programs to assist you. Check out the Flex Your Power Web site for rebate and consumer programs or contact or local utility.

High-efficiency windows. If you are planning to replace your windows, choosing ENERGY STAR windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15 percent.

Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about energy savings or would like more information about any Home Exterior Products.  During the Winter season always remember to–Stay inside and Stay warm.