Stay warm and save energy this winter
Winter is coming, which means a change in temperature as well as your heating bills. Below are helpful tips on how to keep the chill out of your home and more dollars in your wallet.
- Make sure gutters are clean. Cluttered gutters can lead to water damage and foundation deterioration in your home, which allows outside air to seep into your home.
- Update windows with air leaks. If you can’t afford to replace windows, consider installing storm windows or cover them with plastic to reduce heat loss.
- Use weather stripping around doors, and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house.
- Ensure your attic is well insulated.
- Reduce drafts by using spray foam or caulk to seal holes around penetrations, such as pipes, wiring, vents or recessed lights that go through the home to the outside, attic, crawlspace or an unfinished basement.
- Protect basement window wells with plastic shields.
Maintain equipment to save money year-round
- Schedule yearly checkups for your HVAC system. Energy Star recommends you plan the checkups around the beginning and end of daylight-saving time each spring and fall.
- Change your air filter every month. Dirty filters slow down air flow, making your system work harder to heat and cool your home.
- Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.
- Install a programmable thermostat – proper use can save you about $180 a year.
- Insulate old water heaters with a water heater blanket. When it’s time to upgrade, consider purchasing an electric or tankless water heater to save money and energy. Note: Energy Star certified water heaters can use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional water heaters.
And remember, dress for the weather, even when inside. As the cold weather sets in, instead of donning shorts and short sleeves, put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket in order to keep warm without having to crank up the thermostat.
For more energy-saving tips, visit ENERGYSTAR.gov.
Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.