Is Your Home Winter-Ready?
Fall and winter are the time for pumpkin spice lattes, Friday night football games, and falling leaves. But it also ushers in cooler temperatures, which can cause home heating costs to increase. Here’s the good news: You can save money by saving energy.
October was Energy Awareness Month, but it’s not too late to be in the know. Here are some tips and resources to help you live smarter and more sustainably.
1. Create a home energy profile. Get started by checking out the ENERGY STAR® Home Advisor tool, which gives you a prioritized list of energy-saving recommendations customized to your home. (ENERGY STAR is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps people save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency.) All it takes is the click of a few buttons — it's never been easier to make your home more efficient.
2. Look for the blue label. You’ve probably seen the blue ENERGY STAR label on a variety of products, including dishwashers, refrigerators, and new windows and doors. That designation means the product meets or exceeds strict energy performance standards from the Environmental Protection Agency. So by simply choosing to buy products with the blue label, you can save money. As a bonus, with the purchase of ENERGY STAR products, you may also be eligible for tax credits.
3. Choose better windows. Installing energy-efficient windows and doors not only helps reduce your emissions by decreasing the potential energy needed to heat and cool your home, but it also saves you money.
4. Install smarter. A window or door is only as good as its installation, and proper installation is critical to maximize your energy efficiency. Consult the expertise and service of local professionals from start to finish with a no-mess, no-guess installation day
5. Practice good habits.
- Plug electronics into a power strip. That way, you can turn the strip off when you’re not using them.
- Use a microwave or toaster oven to reheat food. Ovens use more energy.
- Keep your freezer full, and it will take less energy to keep food cold.
- Set your dishwasher and washing machine to economy and/or green mode.
- Turn off fans and lights when not in use.
- Shorten the amount of time you spend showering to save on hot water costs.
- In addition to efficient windows, look for appliances labeled with the ENERGY STAR stamp of approval.
6. Maximize natural light. When you’re able to rely on natural light for most of the day, electricity costs can be reduced. If you’re renovating your home, consider adding new window openings to increase the amount of natural light. If you’re building a new home, combining an open floor plan with lots of windows brings in even more natural light.
Tim Glidden is the General Manager of Retail for Pella Windows and Doors Denver, which sells a variety of energy-efficient windows and doors. Contact him at (303) 350-5617.
Content for this article provided by Pella Windows.