Saving Energy and Money Transitioning into Fall!
By Willow Cohn, Outreach & Education EcoFellow
When the weather begins to change and you start to enjoy the changing of the leaves, that’s your signal to prepare your home for winter! Fall is an opportune time to conserve energy and save money around your house. Follow these tips to help make your home more comfortable in the coming months and save you money while being environmentally friendly.
Get a no-cost home energy assessment.
It’s easy to save energy, make your home more efficient, and save money with rebates, incentives, and reduced energy costs. It all starts with an Energy Specialist coming to your home and doing a home energy assessment.
Through the Mass Save® program, this visit has no cost to the utility customer. Mass Save is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including, The Berkshire Gas Company, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, National Grid, Liberty Utilities and Unitil. During the visit the energy specialist inspects your home, installs energy-saving products at no cost, and creates a custom report that makes it easy for you to improve your home’s energy efficiency. This includes all applicable rebates and incentives, and specific instructions on how to move forward with making any energy efficiency improvements.
Turn off your air-conditioning.
According to the Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year. As an alternative to this expensive appliance, turn off your air conditioning and open your windows in the evening and through the night. Also, shut them when you leave the home for the day and make sure to close any curtains. Simply using your blinds during the day will help keep your home cool and comfortable.
Focus on the unseen.
We often neglect the spaces that leak the most energy in our homes because we don’t see them. Many people think an easy place to save money on their energy bill is with new window improvements, because that’s where we would notice a draft, but often the attic is a much bigger problem that goes unnoticed because we aren’t interacting with it nearly as much. Something that’s easier, cheaper, and greater in energy impact is to add insulation into your attic and seal air leaks. With the Mass Save program, homeowners in Massachusetts are eligible for 75% off of insulation, up to $2,000 and 100% paid for air sealing.
Install a programmable thermostat.
Having a programmable thermostat will save you energy and you won’t have to think about it after you have programmed it to comfortable temperatures. Simply by installing this technology in your home, you can save 5-15% on annual heating costs. An efficient setting would be 68 degrees during the day, 60 degrees at night, and 55 when no one’s home. They are easy to use and you can even program them for the weekend when you might sleep in or stay at home longer!
Service your boiler or furnace.
Having a specialist come to your home to inspect your appliances can quickly bring your energy costs down. Patching holes or preforming a routine cleaning can make your appliance run more efficiently. A better running appliance will save you money on your energy bill and help it to last longer.
Use your ceiling fan.
Many people use ceiling fans during the during the summer months to keep cool, but don’t know that ceiling fans can also be used to warm a house during the fall and winter months. Your ceiling fan normally turns counter clockwise, but most fans have a setting to reverse this. Flipping that switch changes the direction of the fan to turn clockwise, which will help push the warm air back down keeping the room warm and comfortable.
For more information on home energy efficiency check out these related posts
- Do-It-Yourself Home Weatherization Projects
- Insulate and Feel Great!
- How to Prepare for your Home Energy Assessment
If you are interested in learning more about weatherization before winter hits and would like assistance weatherizing your home, contact Mass Save today for a home energy assessment at 1-866-527-7283!