It’s Getting Colder. Are You Ready?
Energy Use Goes Up As Temperatures Fall… Are You Ready?
Cold temperatures are finally upon us and with them, comes higher energy use. Simply, as the outside temperature drops, your heating system will run more to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home or business. The result then, is higher energy usage which equates to higher electric bills. Can you do anything about it? You bet. The following tips can help and, LEC’s Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs might be just what you need to lower those winter time bills.
The following information from the Department of Energy may be helpful in keeping winter time bills down.
Turn Your Thermostat Down, (Even Just a Few Degrees): This can save as much as 2% for each degree you turn your thermostat back. Keeping it in the high 60s while awake and then turning it down 10-20 degrees when you’re asleep or out of the house can save 10% on your heating bill.
Install a Programmable Thermostat: This device costs $35-$115 but can save 10% on your heating bill each year.
Find and Seal Leaks: These leaks may be around areas where pipes come into the house, around chimneys, or behind cupboards and closets. You can add caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks around doors and windows. You can also cover drafty windows with heavy duty, clear plastic or with insulating drapes or heavy window shades.
Maintain Your Heating Systems: Making sure your furnace or heat pump is working most efficiently can save you money. Find out what maintenance your unit requires or schedule to have this done with a professional.
Recognize When Your Heating System Is Running In Auxiliary Mode: While heat pumps are usually a very efficient source of heat, when outside temperatures get close to freezing, they can no longer extract heat from the surrounding air. In order to maintain the temperature you have set your thermostat at, your system must switch over to auxiliary heat. This type of heating is much less efficient and will lead to increases in your bill.
Use Portable Space Heaters Wisely: Space heaters work best if you only need to heat one or two small rooms. This may be an option if your main heating system is ineffective or inefficient. Most space heaters work by convection, or the movement of air around a room, but radiant heating space heaters are the more cost-effective choice. Safety is a top consideration in the use of space heaters. Please read the unit’s safety instructions carefully, or go to the Department of Energy website to read their guidelines.
Understand Your Usage: Our online account management system, SmartHub, allows you to monitor your energy usage and history from a PC, tablet or smartphone. With SmartHub you can see how much electricity you use monthly or daily, with easy to read graphs. You can also overlay temperature data to see how the weather affects your cooling and heating costs.