Dept. of Energy Releases Fall and Winter Energy Saving Tips

November 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Deptartment of Energy Releases Fall and Winter Energy Saving TipsOn its web site (energy.gov), the Department of Energy (DOE) is providing consumers with a number of tips and ways to save money by reducing energy costs during the cool fall and cold winter months. Many of the energy saving tips from the DOE are free things that consumers can do and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings. Other energy saving tips are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

The first step, on the site begins with conducting an energy assessment to see where you can save the most as well as consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

One tip is to use the sun to your advantage. It doesn’t require solar panels to use the sun’s energy to warm your home in the winter. The DOE suggests opening your curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and remember to close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

To prevent energy loss through drafty windows, or heat loss though the glass, create an air barrier. You can do this by covering the window with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. 3M and other manufacturers sell window kits which make this process fast and easy. This creates a small barrier of air between the window and the plastic and reduces heat loss, in addition to preventing air slipping through a leaky window.

Another tip for reducing energy costs relates to finding and sealing up any other air leaks in your home. Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Also, add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

To accomplish this, on the DOE web site, the agency tells how to:

- Find out how to detect air leaks.
- Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
- Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk.
- Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

Other tips from the DOE relate to, Maintaining Your Heating Systems, how to Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace, Lowering Your Water Heating Costs, which can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home, and how to Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs through the use of light-emitting diode — or “LED” — holiday light strings.

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