Five ways to keep warm and save energy this winter

Posted by Rachel Sorenson | Posted on Dec 23, 2013

The holiday season and cold weather are here, and there are many ways to stay warm and lower your energy bills at the same time. Taken from the Alliance to Save Energy’s website, here are 5 ways to stay warmer and keep more cash in your pocket this winter:

1. Deck the Halls with LEDs

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without Americans lighting up the neighborhood with the brightest and most colorful displays possible. But 40 consecutive nights of illuminating your front lawn adds up. LED holiday lights use up to 90 percent less energy and can last up to 40 holiday seasons.

2. Plug Leaks and Drafts

Stop throwing money out the window.  Your home loses most of its heat to drafts and air leaks (inside and out). Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs.

3. Maintain Your HVAC System

Make sure to clean or change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm and costing you more money. Also, consider getting a winter tune-up.  Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable.

4. Let Your Thermostat Think for You

Don’t waste money heating an empty home.  Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower when you are away or asleep and turn back up when you are returning home or waking-up.

5. Invite the Sun in

Yes it feels like the Sun has abandoned us during the winter, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it during these shorter days. Open curtains and other window treatments on your west-and south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and save anywhere from 2-12 percent.

These tips are helpful ways to stay warmer, save on energy bills, and have a merrier holiday season. For more information on sustainability or ways to reduce your energy use, please visit Sustainable Clark’s website:  http://www.clarku.edu/offices/campussustainability/