As colder air moves into the Pacific Northwest bringing freezing temperatures and snow across the region, Energy Trust of Oregon is offering advice on how to keep your home comfortable while not wasting money on added energy costs.
- Seal up places where air escapes
- The small gaps, cracks and leaks throughout your home can seem insignificant. But they can really add up to the point where you’re losing as much energy as if a window is open during this winter weather.
- Use caulk or spray foam to seal up small holes and cracks around plumbing pipes, exhaust fans, dryer vents, sink and bathtub drains, fireplaces and under countertops.
- Check air filters
- You hear it a lot, but it’s important to check your air filter, if you haven’t already this winter. Dirty filters cause your heating system to work harder, wasting energy and money. Pets are inside more in colder weather and fur can clog the filter faster.
- When temperatures drop, don’t raise the thermostat higher than you normally would during more mild weather. Cranking up the thermostat by a few degrees will not warm up your home faster; it will cause the furnace to run longer.
- Try lowering the heat. Each degree lower is a three-percent savings on your bill. Energy Trust recommends the following settings:
- 65 – 68 degrees during the day
- 58 – 60 degrees at night during cooler months
- If you have a heat pump, turn the thermostat down no more than three degrees at night
- Later, consider investing in a smart thermostat. You can set it to automatically lower the heat at night and the hours you’re away. Energy Trust offers $100 coupons for smart thermostats throughout the year.
- Check the fireplace
- If you’re not using your fireplace, be sure the damper is closed. An open damper allows warm air to escape up the chimney.
- When you do use the fireplace, close the room’s doors. Also, give the furnace a break by lowering the thermostat.
- Let the sun help
- During the day, keep curtains on your south facing windows open to allow sunlight to naturally help heat your home. Close the curtains at night which will help insulate the windows.
Visit Energy Trust’s website for more no-cost and low-cost energy-saving tips.