Some Energy Saving Tips For Autumn
While saving energy is an effective goal all year round, there are tips that apply specifically to the change of seasons from summer to autumn. All of the ideas presented here will save you money on your energy bills, which as Martha Stewart always says, is “a good thing.”
The first item on your agenda should be to seal all the windows in your home. Drafts not only make you cold and sick they can also negatively affect your energy bills. Use caulk or weather-stripping as sealers around leaky doors, spaces behind cupboards and gaps around chimneys and windows. Insulate the door to your attic as well; an attic door can be the culprit behind up to 15% of your home’s heat loss! These doors don’t need to be permanently closed; just add some weather-stripping around the frame and if necessary, make your own door “snake” out of fabric to prevent cold air from escaping.
Open those drapes! Even though you would opt to close them in the summer during the daylight hours and open them at night, in the fall and winter it is just the opposite. Solar heat is an eternal source of warmth and best of all, it will add nothing to your monthly energy bill. If you have curtains that face the south, open them during the day so that sunlight can fill your house with warmth and close them at night to sustain the heat.
Your appliances will need some winterization as well. In addition to cleaning out your fridge and vacuuming the dust from the coils, by checking its temperature often, (almost as if it had a fever) you can save on energy costs. The most favorable temperature to assure food safety is 41 degrees. You can monitor this easily with a food thermometer in a glass of water placed strategically on the middle shelf. Your dryer needs help with the buildup of lint that is inevitable with use inside the hose and in the pipes leading to the vent. This accumulation can cost you up to 30% more unnecessary energy use and it is a fire hazard as well as a direct cause of mildew. This situation is easily remedied with a little help from your vacuum’s hose attachment.
As far as your other appliances go, to avoid appliance repair expenses as well as an additional 14 to 25% increase on the energy consumed in your home, turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120F. This is the ideal heat for washing, bathing and conserving energy. Consider buying a programmable thermostat, and when you are not at home or asleep, turn it back 10 or 15 degrees. By doing just this, you will save about 10% on your annual heating and cooling bills.
Despite all your vigilance, there will come a day when your appliances need some outside help. Do not scream or carry on; simply contact the Appliance Doctor if you live in the New York-Bronx and Westchester areas. (If you live elsewhere, you are on your own.) You can reach him anytime and anywhere at: 1 800 339-0353.