Lower Your Holiday Energy Costs


Use LED holiday lights
They have been around for years. It is the right thing to do for your wallet and for the environment. Also, make sure to turn your lights off before bed. They make simple, inexpensive timers that can save you 50% on your holiday lighting bills.

The sun creates a lot of heat
Use it. Open blinds on the windows on the south-side of your home during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home via convection, make sure to close them at dusk to reduce the chill from those cold windows.

If you have drafty windows, make sure to cover them
Use transparent plastic sheets on the window frames (These can be bought at most home center stores) or tape plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the winter. If the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame, it will greatly reduce cold-air infiltration. Use drapes, blinds, or shades on windows after weatherizing to prevent any type of drafts from entering.

Get a SMART or programmable thermostat
When you are home and awake, keep your thermostat at a comfortable setting. When you’re asleep or out of the home, program your thermostat to set-back 6° for eight+ hours and you will save upwards of 6% on your heating bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature, no more forgetting to change the setting.  As a bonus, many thermostats are network devices so you can communicate with them from your computer or smartphone.

Find and Seal Leaks
If you have air leaks around utility pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights; properly seal them all. Also, check unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. This is most likely a job for a professional. Putting sealing materials around wiring or lights can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Remember that ductwork goes through many unconditioned areas in the home. If your ductwork is leaking and pulling in unconditioned air, this will also hurt your utility bills. Ask a professional HVAC contractor about getting your ductwork sealed. The savings can be tremendous.

Maintain your HVAC system
Schedule service for your heating system. No excuses, just do it. Have your filter replaced once a month or as needed. Educate yourself about maintaining furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. Some common knowledge might prevent you from killing your system. 

Reduce fireplace heat loss
Always keep your fireplace damper closed when it is not in use. If the damper is open, it is the same as keeping a window open in the middle of winter; it allows warm air to pour out of the chimney. When the fireplace is in use, open dampers in the bottom of the firebox or open a window slightly in an adjoining room. Make sure to close all doors leading into the room.  If your fireplace is decorative only, make sure to plug and seal the chimney flue permanently. Add caulk or seal around the fireplace hearth to keep air from escaping.