Written by Robyn Prasek

Once again forecasters are predicting that Mother Nature is getting ready to cast her icy spells of unsettled and chilly weather across the Northeast and the Great Lakes as early as the middle of September. Consumer will see the cold weather reflected as big jumps in their heating bills. The US EIA (Energy Information Association) reported that the propane and natural gas inventories are higher than a year ago. However, we should always be doing as much as we can to conserve energy.

So, what can you do to conserve energy? Well, here’s a list of quick changes you can make this winter with little effort so that you too can maximize your ability to conserve energy.

Leak check – Hoses, piping, regulators, and burners could be susceptible to leaks. Much of your gas expenditures go up in the air when you have unchecked leaks. It’s better to have this problem corrected sooner rather than later. Preferably before the gas that has been lost/wasted affects your expenses.

Conserve Energy Collage

Tune-up your heating system – With heating systems working at peak efficiency, heating bills will be at their lowest. Keeping your appliances well maintained and clean can help with fuel consumption. Part of this ‘tune-up’ should include the cleaning of burners in your gas appliances. More fuel is consumed when burners of gas appliances are clogged with soot or other debris. A non-uniform and orange/yellow flame would be an indication that the burners need to be cleaned. Steady and bright blue flame means efficient burning and helps you conserve energy.

Insulation – A well-insulated home will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer as well as help you conserve energy. Energy is wasted when cold drafts enter the home. Drafts can enter from areas such as crawl spaces, doors, and windows. Make sure that your crawl space is sealed and all doors and windows are properly caulked/weather stripped to prevent cold air from coming in and heat from going out. The attic can also be an area that loses much of your home’s heat and brings your ability to conserve energy way down. Under-insulated attics allow heat to easily escape from your home. Properly insulating your attic is one of the biggest and best ways to help you conserve energy. Lastly, insulate any electrical outlet and/or switch that is on an exterior wall.

Thermostat – While not at home or while you are sleeping you should always keep your thermostat lowered in order to conserve energy. Programmable thermostats can do this for you automatically. You’ll never have to remember to lower the temperature again. Some say that thermostat’s should be set at 68 degrees while you are awake and lower while you are asleep or away from home. Even a 10-15 degree decrease in temperature for about 8 hours can save you anywhere from 5% to 15% each year. If you conserve energy you’ll save money.

thermostat

Window Coverings – Open window coverings on any windows hit by direct sunlight to help heat your home. Close them at sundown to help keep the heat inside.

Fireplaces – Make sure your fireplace damper is closed when not in use to prevent heat from escaping up the flue.

Ceiling fans – In order to conserve energy you can actually use your ceiling fan to force the hot air back down. Switch the ceiling fans setting to run counter-clockwise. By using your ceiling fan in the winter you can save up to 15% on heating costs and reduce your expense on fuel. This can also reduce the use of heating blankets and space heaters, both of which can be safety hazards. When not in a room turn the ceiling fans off to conserve energy.

Pipes & Water Heaters – Insulate water heaters and hot water pipes to avoid wasting energy. Make sure that in doing this the air intake vent is left uncovered. One option would be to replace your conventional water heater with an instantaneous water heater. They are easy to have installed and maintain as well as being cost-effective. They’re a great option to conserve energy for all your water needs.


Saleswoman Robyn Prasek

Robyn Prasek

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