Preparing For Cooler Days Ahead

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Soon the leaves will be falling and your utility bill will be rising. Here are some tips from City Utilities to keep your monthly utility bill down this fall and winter. 

• Save 3 to 5 percent of your heating and air conditioning costs for each degree you set your thermostat — below in winter and above in summer — your normal setting. During the winter, set the thermostat to 68 degrees while you are awake then setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat to make these adjustments easier.

our normal setting. During the winter, set the thermostat to 68 degrees while you are awake then setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat to make these adjustments easier.

• In the winter, open curtains and shades during the day to allow warming sunlight to enter — particularly on the south and west sides. During winter evenings, close curtains to help block cold air. (When it’s hot, close curtains during the day.)

• Proper insulation helps keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.  You may be losing energy when heating and cooling your home through air leaks. Check for, then caulk and weather-strip holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home

• Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained; check owner’s manuals for recommended maintenance.d cool during summer. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.  You may be losing energy when heating and cooling your home through air leaks. Check for, then caulk and weather-strip holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.

• Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, and typically accounts for about 12 percent of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, or the warm setting, and insulate the tank and pipes.

• About 80 to 85 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is to heat the water. Reduce this by washing full loads only and using cooler water with cold-water detergents. When lowering the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half.

• Clean or replace air return filters two to three times during winter and summer. On your outside unit, keep fins and coils clear from debris; you can also save energy by planting trees or shrubs to shade your unit.

• Increasing lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off lights in rooms not in use; check lighting needs and use patterns for ways to use controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers; and, replace heat producing 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 20-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and receive the same amount of light for just a quarter of the energy – CFLs also last about ten-times longer.

• Keep heating/cooling vents clean and unobstructed including arranging furniture for air to flow freely.

• Keep fireplace dampers closed tightly when not in use.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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