Not only our health, but the health of our planet is or should be important to all of us!
There are tons of information on how we can do our part, and today, we will outline ways to be more energy efficient, at home and/or work.
Here are some no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy this winter:
- Take care of your heating system through regular maintenance. Know what type of maintenance is required to keep your operating system working efficiently. Replace filters once a month, or as needed.
- Look for and seal leaks. There are utility cut-throughs for pipes (plumbing penetrations), recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets that may leak. Be sure to seal all.
- Around windows, caulk or weather strip to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
- Lower costs of water heating. By turning down the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting (120°F) you will save energy as well as avoid scalding your hands. Water heating can account for 14%-25% of energy consumed in the home.
- Turn the thermostat down. For every degree you turn down the thermostat, you save up to 1% on your heating bill.
- If you have south-facing windows in your home or office, allow the sun to furnish its natural heat. Be sure to close window coverings at night to reduce the chill next to the windows.
- Drafty windows should be covered with a heavy-duty plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames during cold winter months. Tight-fitting, insulated drapes or shades on windows help keep them from feeling drafty. There are other window treatments that can be used to improve energy efficiency.
- In the home, if you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is going. Otherwise, it is just the same as keeping a window wide open during the winter, as it lets warm air go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room would be a good investment.
Either a professional energy audit, or a do-it-yourself energy audit would be a great way to find out exactly how much energy you are losing. Your local utility company may offer free energy audits. Small businesses may find state or local energy efficiency programs to assist them with an energy audit.
US Department of Energy