10 Tips To Keep You Warm And Pay Less
Here are 10 tips from www.energystar.gov to keep cold out and help Cuivre River Electric members pay less to do it.
- Dress warmer. We often set winter thermostats higher than needed. If you're wearing t-shirts, shorts and going barefoot indoors, you've set the thermostat too high. Lower it to 68°F, and layer on long-sleeved shirts, sweats, sweaters and socks. For every degree you lower the thermostat you can reduce heating energy use by 1 to 3%.
- Stop drafts and leaks. Keep warm air inside by caulking, sealing and weather stripping wherever outside meets inside.
- Take care of your furnace. Replace or clean the furnace filter each month. Dirty filters can greatly affect furnace operation and waste fuel. Vacuum heating registers and the inside of ducts as far as you can reach. If you have baseboard heaters, brush and remove dust and dirt. Check and clean electronic air cleaners every few weeks.
- Insulate. This is the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency. Your home will be more comfortable year 'round and energy use will be lower if you insulate to recommended levels. The University of Missouri Extension recommends minimum values of R-40 for ceilings, R-18 for walls, R-25 for floors over crawl spaces and R-11 for basement walls.
- Adjust your water heater temperature. It's easy to forget that your water heater runs 24/7 to keep water hot for you. Reduce the set temperature to 120°F and save 52 weeks a year.
- Reverse the switch on your ceiling fan blades. Turn clockwise to push down the warm air that naturally rises, especially in rooms with high ceilings.
- Open heating vents. To distribute air evenly through your home, vents should be open and unblocked by furniture or other items.
- Use a portable heater wisely. If you keep your whole house cooler and use the portable heater in just one room - only while it's occupied - it can help you control costs.
- Check your ducts. Look for sections of ductwork that may have become separated. Seal leaks with mastic, butyl tape, foil tape or other heat-approved tapes.
- Turn off ventilating fans in 20 minutes. Kitchen and bathroom fans pull out warm air and can empty a warm house in about an hour.