5 Ways To Save Energy This Fall

Dear Rich Lifer,

It’s finally here! The season of changing leaves, cozy sweaters, longer nights, and everything pumpkin spiced.

That’s right folks, it’s officially fall!

It’s time to carve the pumpkins and break out the flannels.

Grab that apple cider donut — you deserve it.

While many look forward to this cooler season as a reprieve from the summer heat, it is also typically when energy bills start to skyrocket.

With the nation’s high unemployment rate, and an uncertain economy, many American’s are worried about where the future is headed and are looking for ways to save cash. (Click now to hear this Pentagon Advisors surprising prediction.) 

Today we will break down five key ways you can save energy and reduce your electricity bill as the days begin to grow colder.

1. Keep an Eye on the Thermostat 

Regulating the temperature in your home is one of the easiest ways to save money this fall.

When you are at home and awake, it’s recommended you keep the temperature as low as is comfortable. Typically this would be at or below 68 degrees.

The Department of Energy suggests turning back your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day to save up to 10% on heating costs.

If you are able to, consider getting a programmable thermostat or one you can control on your phone so you can easily adjust the temperature when you wake up and go to bed.

If you are keeping your temperature at a solid 68 degrees, and then lower the temperature before bed, your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system will have less work to do, resulting in lower energy consumption.

Also, consider replacing your HVAC filter. The air filter is the access point for your HVAC system’s airflow and the place that filters your home from allergens and dirt particles.

If you don’t replace your air filter, it clogs up from excess dust. This reduces airflow, which puts a strain on your heating and cooling system. Try to check your filter once a month to make sure it’s not getting too dirty.

2. Sealing and Insulating

It’s important to check for and fix any cracks, leaks, or gaps in your home.

Air leakage occurs because of cracks or gaps in windows, doors, and walls and can lead to higher monthly energy rates because it lets heat escape and cold air enter.

Doing this in the fall before the temperature drops dramatically will save you tons of time and money once the truly frigid months of winter arrive.

Check all your doors and windows for air leakage that could keep your heater running overtime. If any of the doors leading to the outside have space between the bottom of the door and the floor, add weather stripping or use caulk to seal the gap.

This will prevent excess heat from escaping and could keep your heater from running up your energy bill.

Covering drafty windows will also help keep the heat inside. Use 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. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

Adding or replacing insulation is also key to keeping your home warm since insulation is the most important thermal barrier in your home.

While there’s no right or wrong answer for the type of insulation you use, there is a right answer for the amount.

Insulation efficiency is measured in “R-value,” and the minimum total R-value you should have in your home varies by region. Use this Energy Department Map to check the R-value target for your region.

3. Let the Sun Do the Work 

An incredibly easy way to save on energy is to capitalize on the greatest energy source the world has — the sun!

The sun’s heat and energy can be tapped into in multiple ways – particularly important to be aware of in the case of another Depression. 

To take advantage of this, start your day by opening all blinds and curtains on your south-facing windows to let the sun warm the room.

Then, when it starts to get dark, shut the blinds to lock in the free heat.

4. Reduce Heat Loss From Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your home, you probably look forward to piling on the logs and gathering around the fireplace to keep warm.

However, fireplaces can be a huge energy waster if they are not maintained properly.

First and foremost, keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

When using the fireplace, you can turn down the thermostat to save energy on heating and rely on the fire to warm the room instead.

You should also consider purchasing energy-efficient fireplace grates – these grates will draw cool air into the fireplace while pushing warm air back into your room.

5. Save on Hot Water

Heating water takes a ton of energy, so taking extra care with your water heater can help save on energy costs.

Don’t set your water heater temperature higher than 140 degrees, which is sufficient to kill any harmful bacteria – particularly important during a pandemic. This will cut costs tremendously and save you from scalding your hands!

If you have an older water heater, or one in a basement, garage, or other unheated area, consider wrapping the heater in a water heater blanket. It will help keep the heat in, so your water heater isn’t using energy to keep the water hot.

You can also save on hot water costs by washing your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Additionally, only run your dishwasher or washing machine when it is completely full.

Hopefully all these tips and tricks will help you get your home ready for winter. Don’t let a high energy bill ruin your big holiday plans with family or your cozy afternoons at home.

To a richer life,

The Rich Life Roadmap Team

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