Save Energy and Money with this Winter Checklist
1. Lighting Winter time means less daylight hours and increased lighting use.
Use timers on exterior lights to limit "on" times and consider using LED lighting on exterior lighting (especially over the holidays). Get the whole family involved in turning off lights as they exit rooms. Switch your light bulbs over to LED (light emitting diodes) - they use up to 90% less energy.
2. Water heaters Save energy by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees.
3. Room Temperature Take advantage of your programmable thermostat to help control usage by setting the temperature lower during awake hours & while family members are away. You can save as much as 10% a year on heating by turning the thermostat down 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. (for a normal setting, consider placing the thermostat at 68 degrees or less during awake times when your home).
Have your furnace inspected annually to make sure it is running at peak efficiency, as well as operating safely. Change out air-filters once month to ensure efficient air flow.
5. Phantom Power While still plugged in, small appliances and electronics can still use power. Unplug small appliances like coffee makers and toasters when not in use. For electronics like TV's, game consoles, etc. Use a power strip that can be more accessible to turn off power to the outlet.
6. Appliances Winter often brings more loads of laundry because of all those extra layers of clothing. First, run only full loads when possible. Second, consider running all loads on cold to save up to 75% of the washer's energy use.
Using the dishwasher actually consumes less water than doing that sink full of dishes by hand, so fill up that dishwasher time and again.
7. Use the Sun
Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the cold coming off the windows.
8. Ceiling Fans Change your ceiling fan rotation to a clockwise rotation during the winter to force warm air downward.
9. Battery Check List
One of the most important steps in winterizing your home is also one of the easiest: Put fresh batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Test smoke alarms by actually wafting a bit of smoke past them, not just pressing the "test" button, and remember that detecting devices should be replaced every ten years.