Save energy this winter without turning down the heat - HMS National, Inc.

Save energy this winter without turning down the heat

November 7, 2014

When the cold weather arrives, you probably see a significant increase on your energy bill. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that heating costs rise between 9 and 13 percent during the winter. You've probably heard that you can mitigate your energy bills by setting your thermostat to a chilly 60 degrees, but that's definitely not for everyone. If you can't stand layering up during the holidays, use these tricks to cut back on energy consumption without turning down the heat.

Use LED holiday lights
It might seem like a trivial change, but decking your halls with LED lights can make a big difference on your electric bill. The U.S. Department of Energy explained that LED holiday lights use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lights. It would cost you around $10 to light a holiday tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days. The cost with LED lights? Just 25 cents! If you decorate the exterior of your house or other spots inside, those savings can really add up. Not to mention that LED strands don't get as hot as traditional holiday lighting, so you're not running the risk of singed fingers.

Take care of the heating system
Throughout the winter, you should be cleaning or changing your furnace filters. The Alliance to Save Energy noted that a dirty filter can slow down the air flow, which makes your heating system work harder to keep your home warm. When you maintain your furnace, it will work efficiently and minimize your energy bills. You should also have a contractor give your furnace a tune-up before the colder months arrive.

Cover drafty windows
If you have a couple of windows that seem to let in cold air, they're also letting your valuable heat escape. To combat this problem, install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades over the trouble spots. The Department of Energy noted that curtains that are hung close to the window, sealed on the sides and overlapped in the center can reduce heat loss by up to 25 percent. A cornice at the top of your drapes can also help keep drafts out and warmth in.

If you use these tips, you can put a dent in those high energy bills and have a few extra dollars to spend on holiday festivities.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.