11:07 AM

A Weekend Warrior's Guide to Saving Energy This Winter

Are you a weekend warrior who likes to get a bunch of things off your to-do list in a single weekend? If home improvements are on your to-do list, consider some energy-saving projects that could be completed in a day or less. 

With seasonal cold weather on the horizon, now is the time to button up your home to use less energy when temperatures go down – a move that could help you avoid a higher-than-expected bill. 

Whether you’re a weekend warrior pro or a DIY dabbler, you can take steps now to manage your energy use this winter.

Quick and Easy

• Inspect your air filter.
Clean HVAC filters can save 5-15% on your electric bill. Check your air filter every 1-2 months and replace when dirty. 

• Give your vents space.
Blocked vents can reduce the efficiency of airflow in your home. Make sure your air supply and return vents are not blocked by furniture or other objects. 

• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.
As a rule of thumb, your heating cost will increase 3% for each degree above 68 degrees. 

• Close the fireplace damper.
Consider using your fireplace sparingly, as it draws your home’s heated air up the chimney. When your fireplace isn’t in use, be sure to close the damper. 

• Add or replace weather stripping.
Check around doors and windows to ensure you can’t feel air flowing. If you can, adding or replacing the weather stripping is an easy fix.

Call the Pros

• Schedule an HVAC inspection every six months.
Call an HVAC professional for checkups and maintenance every six months to ensure your system operates at peak performance. You can find a qualified contractor at jacksonemc.com/contractor. 

• Check attic insulation.
Proper insulation in your attic will keep your home comfortable while lowering your heating bill. Check your attic insulation to ensure a blown-in fiberglass depth of 12-14”, a blown-in cellulose depth of 8-9”, or a batt depth of at least 10”. Not sure how to check your attic’s insulation? Call an insulation professional. 

• Check water heater.
Consider replacing an older, inefficient water heater with a new high-efficiency model. Be sure to ask a professional installer about water heaters with a higher insulation R-value in the tank wall and a good warranty for at least 10 years.

A Little More Work

• Install a smart thermostat.
A smart thermostat conserves energy by customizing your preferences for heating and cooling your home. Jackson EMC members can get rebates on select smart thermostats at jacksonemcmarketplace.com. 

• Seal leaks.
Use a spray foam sealant to seal holes around pipes coming inside your home in bathrooms and kitchen cabinets. 

• Seal ductwork.
Leaky air ductwork often accounts for as much as 30% of total heating and cooling costs. Seal ducts permanently with mastic or a rated metal duct tape used primarily for areas around the unit needing access, such as the filter rack. 

• Repair leaky faucets and pipes.
A faucet dripping hot water can waste gallons of water each year – plus the electricity used to heat it.