A New Year’s Resolution that Sticks: How to Reduce Energy Costs in 2015
There’s nothing like a new year to inspire us to bring about new changes. Another year ending with another year about to begin can often encourage us to jump on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon.
Unfortunately, while many may set out to achieve goals in 2015 (lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, save money, etc.), most of our resolutions are either abandoned or forgotten not long after we make them…
So why not take a different, more “green” approach this year by resolving to save money AND make your home more energy efficient?
Don’t be fooled by the cold Minnesota weather – you CAN reduce energy costs this winter without freezing in the process.
Now, repeat after me:
“I will resist the urge to light and heat every single room.”
Close vents and switch off lights in those rarely-occupied rooms. And if you’re not home during that day, use timers to keep lights and other appliances off during those periods.
Another tip: Have south-facing windows? Open the curtains on sunny winter days to help warm those rooms, and close window coverings to lock heat in at night.
“I will value my thermostat.”
Adjusting your thermostat temperature by just a few degrees can make a huge difference when it comes to your energy bill. If you’re leaving for an extended period of time, set the heat to 55-degrees Farenheit to avoid costly expenses later on.
For homes with older thermostats, upgrading to a more energy efficient model can also help you better regulate your heating system. Contact a heating professional to discuss your options.
“I will clean and maintain my furnace.”
This one is crucial!
Heating and cooling account for more than half of household energy costs, so it makes sense that regular furnace maintenance can help save you big money. Precautions such as checking vents for obstructions, replacing furnace filters and being conscious of any noises are all important factors to help take care of your heating system. For a thorough cleaning and safety check, you’ll want to schedule a furnace tune-up with a heating professional.
“I will reduce my hot water consumption.”
Yes, taking long, hot showers every morning may be tempting (especially given the weather lately), but you’re not doing your utility bill any favors. Invest in a low-flow showerhead and keep your water heater temperature on the “normal” setting (or 120-degrees Farenheit) to offset the cost.
“I will go the extra cozy mile.”
If you’re still feeling a little chilly, why not embrace the season rather than crank up the thermostat to rather expensive heights? Winter is the perfect time to bundle up in warm sweaters, socks and blankets, and have a game night with the family. (Plus, now you have an excuse to enjoy plenty of hot chocolate!)
Remember, the ball’s in your court to make these energy efficient changes. Well, it will be after midnight!
*From all of us at Pronto, we wish you a safe and happy New Year!