It’s the first day of fall, and while cooler weather may still seem far off, it’s a good time to consider some simple “temperature tamers” that can help you save on energy as temperatures begin their slide:
When it’s time to switch to heating, set the thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you’re at home, and lower the setting when you go to bed or leave the house. For every degree you lower your thermostat during colder weather, you can save about 2 percent on your heating bill.
- The water heater is your home’s second-largest energy user. Turn on the savings by turning down the temperature on your water heater to 140 degrees. Save even more by using an insulating blanket, which is made to easily fit around the water tank and keep heat in. They are available at many hardware and home improvement stores.
- Reducing air leaks can cut as much as 10 percent a month from your household energy bill. Some of the most common sources for leaks are around doors and windows, from leaky ducts and vents, from the fireplace, and from plumbing and electrical penetrations in floors or walls. For an easy fix, caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows. Use locks on windows to make them tighter and more draft-resistant. Consider adding insulation in the attic, basement and outside walls. It will help you save on energy this winter and next summer.
- On cold and sunny days, open the curtains on the south side of your home to allow solar heating. At night, close the curtains to keep heat inside.
You use ceiling fans in the summer. Try them during colder seasons, too. Most ceiling fans can be switched to reverse for cool weather operation. In this mode, the fan can help move warmer air trapped near the ceiling and circulate it through the rest of the room.
- Use Energy Star® compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescents use 75 percent less electricity than standard light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. To save even more, try LED lights. They cost more than compact fluorescents, but they will save you more over their lifetime.
- To prepare for cooler weather, have your heating system serviced. Replace or clean the heating system filters monthly to save energy and money.
It doesn’t take much time to make your home more energy-efficient. For more money-saving ideas, visit Alabama Power’s website: www.AlabamaPower.com.