Another North Carolina summer has ridden into the sunset. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and the average daily temperature is dropping — which means your energy bills are probably rising.
It’s a fact of life in and around Asheville: Most people’s energy bills are higher in the fall and winter months than they are in the summer. But they don’t have to be if you follow these fall and winter energy-saving tips for people living in North Carolina.
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips That Are Easy and Inexpensive
Reducing your energy consumption doesn’t have to be difficult or involve investing in solar panels. There are several simple and inexpensive things you and your family can do every day to conserve energy:
- Turn off lights when you’re not in the room. People living in North Carolina lose nearly three hours of daylight between September and December. This means they need to have the lights in their homes on more frequently. Remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room (and making sure your family does the same) is an easy way to save energy.
- Open the drapes. You don’t need to invest in solar panels to harness the heating power of the sun. All you need to do is open your drapes. Keeping your drapes open during the daylight hours — especially on bright, sunny days — let’s Mother Nature help you out with your heating.
- Unplug unused appliances and electronics. toasters, stereos, computers, televisions and even your coffee maker all use electricity when they’re plugged in — even when they’re not being used. Some, like toasters and coffee makers, use small amounts. Others, like desktop computers, laptops and tablets, use a lot of energy. A simple way to save energy is to simply unplug them when they are not in use.
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips That Take a Little Work
If you’re serious about saving energy — and saving money on your utility bills — you might want to roll up your sleeves and connect with your inner-handyman. Getting your hands dirty with a little bit of elbow grease can go a long way toward helping you conserve energy. Here’s how:
- Seal your home. Take a walk around your home and look at your windows and doors. Feel for cool air seeping through any holes or cracks — and then seal the holes or cracks with caulk. Next, take a walk around the outside of your home and look for any cracks in the foundation. You’d be surprised by the large amounts of cool night air that can seep through even the smallest of holes and cracks.
- Buy better light bulbs. The number of light bulbs on the market that are energy efficient is increasing every year. Find them, buy them and install them when your current bulbs burn out. It takes a little work, but hey, you’ll already be up on the ladder replacing the old bulb anyway.
- Insulate. If you have an attached garage, consider insulating its walls — especially the wall that is shared with the house. Also, take a look at your attic and any crawl spaces to ensure that they’re properly insulated. Insulation can go a long way toward keeping the warm air in and the cool air out during the fall and winter months.
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips That Take a Little Investment
It’s no secret that your HVAC system, water heater and major appliances consume copious amounts of energy. And it’s no secret that investing in energy efficient systems and appliances can save copious amounts of energy. Here are three ways to invest in your HVAC system and appliances that will save energy:
- Have your HVAC system inspected annually. Even if you’ve recently invested in a new, energy-efficient HVAC system, you should have it inspected every fall to ensure it’s running properly and as efficiently as possible.
- Purchase the right sized furnace. With all of the energy-efficient furnaces on the market, it can be easy to over- or under-do it. Making sure you have the right sized furnace ensures that you’re only consumer the energy you need to consume during the cool fall and winter months in North Carolina.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to easily keep your home cooler when you’re not there, warmer when you’re there. They’re also relatively inexpensive.
For help implementing any of these fall and winter energy-saving tips in your Asheville, N.C.-area home or business, contact Gentry Heating today.
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