7 Energy Saving Tips For The Fall
After a blazing hot summer, it’s exciting to welcome cooler weather during a transition into fall. The humidity breaks, the landscape changes colors, and holidays begin to arrive. But if you’re not careful, higher energy consumption can creep into the season, too.
Fall is the ideal time to switch the energy saving tools and habits used throughout your home to make sure you’re set up for savings when your next energy bill arrives. Here are seven ways how you can save on your energy bills this season:
Let the sun heat up your rooms
Use curtains to your advantage. During the day, opening the curtains to let in sunlight from south-facing windows will help warm the room without using any extra energy. In the afternoon, close the curtains to hold in heat and keep the chill out. Use the sun’s energy and warmth to your advantage!
Seal cracks, leaks and drafts
Before it gets too cold, check your windows and doors for gaps and open areas that could let heat out or cold in. Using weatherstripping and caulking before you’re in the thick of winter will contribute to significant savings if you catch the drafts in time. Additionally, you should check cut-throughs for pipe access, recessed lighting, entries to unfinished spaces and chimneys for gaps that could be affecting your insulation.
Reprogram your thermostat
During the summer months, we recommend setting your thermostat at 78 degrees so your system doesn’t have to work too hard to bring the temperature down. As we move into fall and the cooler weather it brings, we recommend reflecting the same idea with your heat. Keeping the temperature set so that the heat doesn’t turn on until it’s 68 degrees or lower will help it run systematically without being overworked or using too much power.
A good practice is to find a temperature you like and leave it there for day-to-day use. If you’re going to be away for a while, set it low – 65 or lower – and step up recovery two degrees at a time when you return. A programmable or smart thermostat is a great way to stay on track as you can set it and forget it.
Service your heating system
Transitioning to fall is the perfect time to make sure your heating system is operating properly. Not only should you change the air filter monthly, but you’ll also want to make sure it is functioning properly and using the right amount of energy for the size of your system and home. If you need to upgrade, it’s best to get it out of the way before it’s an emergency and too cold outside for comfort. Santee Cooper also offers rebates for updating qualifying equipment in your home when it’s time to replace your heat pump or ducts.
Reverse ceiling fans
We think of ceiling fans as a tool to cool us down, but they can also work to keep us warm. When you set the direction of the fan to turn clockwise, it pushes warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room. It also helps to redistribute air so the air coming out of the vents reaches all parts of the room rather than having warmer and cooler pockets of air in different areas. No ceiling fans? Consider installing them in rooms you use most for a simple way to consistently help maintain your energy usage.
Assess your fireplace
Your fireplace is a large, but sometimes not obvious, pathway for air to escape. The damper should stay closed unless a fire is burning so that warm air from your heating system doesn’t escape through the chimney. Check the seal to make sure the damper is as snug as possible. Tempered glass doors and an air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room will also help keep the heat where you want it - inside your home. You can also purchase energy-efficient grates that help draw cool air toward the fireplace and direct warm air back into the room.
Replace your indoor air filter
This tip is helpful year-round but is one that can be easily forgotten. When dust and dirt build up on HVAC filters, it makes the entire system work harder than it needs to, therefore using more energy. Set a reminder to change your filters monthly or sign up for a subscription so your filters stay dirt- and allergen-free, keeping your system working at an optimal level.
Your home is where you hang out, play, create memories – and work, so it’s important to be efficient in the place you spend a large amount of time. Santee Cooper is here to help make sure you can have the right tools and equipment for keeping your home running smoothly so you can focus on what’s important to you. Our energy-efficiency rebates through our Smart Energy Existing Homes Program can help you get qualifying equipment at a more affordable price, but 2020 rebates end Nov. 30, so now is the best time to take action to improve your home’s energy consumption.