When people hear the word "autumn," they think of crisp breezes, pumpkin carving for Halloween and cozy sweaters. Don't be surprised when many Americans say that fall is their favorite time or season of the year. After all, it brings people close together to celebrate holidays, family and delicious food - including everything pumpkin.
Autumn is also the season to conserve energy. October happens to be Energy Awareness Month. This is an ideal time to adopt new or make some changes to your energy-saving habits.
Here are six great tips to help you save money on electricity bills this fall:
- Perform Home Repairs or Maintenance to Help You Save
Autumn is a great season for home maintenance and repair, as the weather is cooler and the flying insects aren't too bothersome.
Make the following changes in your home to save on utility costs and do a little good for the planet:
- Inspect, maintain and repair the furnace or heating system to improve your home's energy efficiency and save on heating expenses.
- Upgrade your kitchen appliances to the most energy-efficient options. Keep an eye out for ENERGY STAR labels and make sure that the size of the appliance matches the needs of your households.
- Check the insulation thickness of your home - and add more, if needed. Hire a contractor if you need help with this task.
2. Set Back Your Thermostat Regulating the temperature inside your house can save you money. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends dialing back your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours per day. This will help you save up to 10 percent on heating expenses.
Another recommendation they offer is to set the temperature of your house to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while at home and bring down the temperature before hitting the hay. When you do this, your HVAC system will have less work to do, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
You can manage your home's temperature more easily using a programmable thermostat or one that you can control from your mobile phone.
3. Reverse the Spin of Your Ceiling Fans
People turn on the ceiling fan to easily keep themselves cool during the summer. The same electrical appliance, however, can keep you warm.
If you reverse the direction from counterclockwise to clockwise, your ceiling fan will push warm back down (take note that warm air rises). What's more, this configuration will redistribute the warm air from your heater, making sure that cold air pockets don't stay in the corners of every room in your home.
Don't have a ceiling fan in your home right now? Don't fret. Head over to the nearest home improvement store in your area for deals and install ceiling fans in rooms that you and your household use the most. Don't worry too much about installation, as some stores will take care of that for you.
4. Use Tin Foil to Conserve Heat
Yes, you read this right - something as simple as putting tin foil behind your radiator will help reflect heat into your house. Don't allow that precious heat to escape the window. This easy and affordable life hack could also help you save money on winter heating costs. Just remember that the shiny side of the tin foil is facing the radiator.
5. Tweak Household Appliances
Your home appliances may have gotten a serious workout during the summer heat, so do give them a break. Make minor configurations to how you use these appliances to conserve energy and help lower your utility bill.
An example is to turn the temperature of your refrigerator down by a few degrees. If this appliance has an energy-saving setting or option, turn it on.
6. Let Heat and Light from the Windows Inside
Let the power of the sun partially heat your house. Before you head to the office, open the curtains or blinds of south-facing windows, letting the sun warm parts of your home while you're away. Once you get home from work, remember to close the blinds and curtains to help lock in that free heat.
If you reside in an area that does not get a lot of sun, keep your curtains and blinds closed to trap in the heat. You also have the option to plant trees strategically in your backyard or garden to help with energy costs. Deciduous trees can offer shade during the summer but shed their leaves as winter approaches. This allows more sunlight to warm your house.
Don't let the heating costs of your home drain your wallet or bank account. Take note of these energy-saving best practices to save money.