The suggestions below are from Energy Star, the Northern Valley Press (2/1/10) and PSEG and Rockland Electric websites and bill inserts.
Smart energy measures to save on monthly energy bills in the winter:
- Lower your thermostat. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you can save 3% on your heating bill.
- Install a programmable thermostat. This will save energy by turning down the heat when you are out for the day and and at night when you are asleep.
- Close dampers in fireplaces you don’t use.
- Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows with caulking and weather stripping. Beneath doors, install draft guard or insulated door snakes.
- Keep warm air inside. Make sure windows are closed tightly and locked; raise shades and open curtains during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home.
- Use a shrink film insulation kit on really drafty windows.
- Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators and baseboard element covers. Open any register or baseboard dampers.
- Clean or change your furnace filter so that your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard.
- Tune up your heating system.
- Seal air conditioning and heating system ducts. Seal leaky ducts that run through the attic, a crawl space, unheated basement or garage, then wrap them in insulation.
- Cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
- Insulate your attic!
- Use caulking and weather stripping to close off gaps around doors and windows. While the gaps may be small, collectively they can add up to big energy losses!
- Seal wall switches and electrical outlets with small foam gaskets.
- Keep your garage door closed it the garage is attached to the house.
- Install ceiling fans. They promote heating efficiency in the winter (and cool you off in the summer).
- Replace older windows with newer more efficient models.
- Decrease water heater temperature. Energy Star recommends decreasing your water heater’s temperature to 120’ Fahrenheit.
- Humidify. Humidifiers normalize humidity and moisture levels in your home and make it feel more comfortable at a lower temperature.
- Consider a switch to High Efficiency systems. If you install an HE heating system of 95 % AFUE (Annual Fuel Usage Energy) – and/or install a 16 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) or greater Air Conditioning system for cooling, you are likely to save >15 % in energy price.
How much can you save by changing your thermostat setting or adding storm windows? Do you need more insulation? Is an HE system worth the cost?
Log in to My Account at PSEG.com to analyze your home energy usage with the Home Energy Toolkit! Or use Orange and Rockland’s HomeEnergyCalculator at http://www.oru.com/myaccount. You can track your home’s energy efficiency; find out where your energy dollars are going, compare month-to-month energy costs and receive energy savings tips. Based on the answers you provide about your home and the calculator’s ability to reference your actual energy usage, you will receive information to help you understand how you currently use energy and how to lower your energy costs in the future. This toolkit also allows you to consider various energy related changes and how they would affect your energy costs.
Also- remember that paperless billing is an environmentally friendly option!