Customers can expect their electricity use to go up as winter approaches. Increased use means higher bills, but you can minimize this increase by taking the following steps.
• Add insulation. Most locations in CORE’s service territory should have a minimum rating of R38 to R60 in the attic, which is about 13” to 20” of loose-fill, blown-in insulation. Consider fully insulating your garage, especially if there is a living space above it. Also insulate the walls of any crawl spaces.
• Reevaluate your home’s temperature. Lowering your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees while you’re out of the house can save you up to 10% each year.
• Seal air leaks throughout your home. They are often found around pipes and outlets, as well as dryer vents and unfinished spaces. Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal the leaks. Window drafts can be reduced by clear plastic film affixed with double-sided sticky tape. Seal the plastic tightly by shrinking it with a hair dryer. Insulating drapes and cellular shades can also reduce cold air infiltration.
• Have your heating system serviced to keep it operating efficiently. Change the furnace filter as recommended.
• Use holiday lights that are LED. Make sure any new lights you buy are LED, which are up to 90% more efficient.
• Reduce through your fireplace. Keep the damper closed when you don’t have a fire going. A heat-air exchange system and tempered glass doors can more effectively heat the room. Plug and seal the chimney flue if you don’t use your fireplace.
• Take advantage of sunny days by opening the curtains and blinds on south-facing windows. They will naturally heat your home. Close them at night to keep the outside cold from infiltrating.
• Consider purchasing a smart or programmable thermostat. The most popular models cost around $200, but reduce heating and cooling use by an estimated 10% to 15% and pay for themselves within two years.