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Energy Savings Tips for Winter


National Energy Awareness Month is an initiative to raise awareness about the impact of excessive consumption. As winter is just around the corner, here are some ways you can make a difference in your own home to cut down on your energy use.

Energy Savings Tips for Winter

October is National Energy Awareness Month. Energy consumption is prevalent and there are many simple steps you can take to better control energy use. National Energy Awareness Month is an initiative to raise awareness about the impact of excessive consumption. As winter is just around the corner, here are some ways you can make a difference in your own home to cut down on your energy use.

Check the Caulking Around Windows and Doorframes for Leaks

The seals around doors and windows become worn.If you can slide a dollar bill easily through the gap, you are losing heat, energy, and money. Weather stripping can be added to address this issue.

Consider Adding Insulation to Recommended Levels

This can be a small chore or a large one. Every house has an R-Value which is the capacity of insulating material that will resist heat flow. This measure of thermal resistance will provide you the recommended level of insulation that is best for your home. An insulation contractor can determine your insulation needs based on your home’s R-Value, climate, and the type of heating and cooling system.

Tune up your HVAC System

Even the newest heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system will decline in performance without regular maintenance. For under $100 a year, the HomeSmart by Xcel Energy Preventative Maintenance Plan will provide annual maintenance and check-ups. A certified technician will ensure that your system runs efficiently and make maintaining your HVAC system incredibly easy.

Change Air Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filters need to be changed or cleaned (if reusable) regularly. These filters can cost as little as $2 each, but a dirty filter can waste up to $5 a month in energy costs. Additionally, dirty filters cause equipment to work harder leading to increased operating expenses.

Install Programmable Thermostats

Automate your HVAC system to capitalize on energy use based on your needs. A programmable thermostat can turn on the HVAC before you arrive. And turn it off after you leave. These thermostats can cut costs by up to 30 percent. For every 1 degree your thermostat is turned back for 8 hours a day, you save 3% on your monthly bill.

Some popular programmable thermostats are:

Honeywell 6000 WiFi Thermostat, which integrates with Amazon Alexa and can provide remote access to your thermostat through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Nest Thermostat: The entire Nest product line-up is all about home automation. Specifically, the Nest thermostat adapts as your life and the seasons change leading to energy efficiencies.

Replace Inefficient Appliances

Appliances around your home consume a lot of energy. Although aging, outdated appliances may hold a sentimental value to the owner. They do not hold a value with your pocketbook. A simple upgrade to a top-efficiency model is a good investment and can increase your savings drastically. Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with units that have earned the Energy Star rating could cut your annual energy bill by more than $115. And for many appliance upgrades, there are tax credits available which will help reduce costs even more. HomeSmart by Xcel Energy offers a free in-home consultation to discuss the right equipment for your home, family, and budget.