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7 Hacks for Saving Energy and Staying Warm This Winter

Believe it or not, you can actually save energy during the winter without living like an Eskimo. New Richmond Utilities has released a list of ‘hacks’ – small, simple adjustments you can make to optimize your energy usage – to save money on your electricity bill.

Let Nature Do the Work for You
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Find and Seal Leaks
Seal windows with heat-shrink plastic and install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades if you need additional insulation. Find and seal any other leaks with caulk or weatherstripping. Some places to check for leaks include: utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets, and electrical outlets on outside walls. You could also consider adding insulation in the attic, which is usually less expensive to insulate than the walls.

Adjust the Temperature According to Your Lifestyle
When you go to bed or know you will be out of the house, turn your thermostat back a few degrees. A programmable thermostat can automate this process, and even bring your house back up to a comfortable temperature by the time you return.

Example: If someone who works outside of the home turns their thermostat back 10° to 15° during the eight hours a day they’re not at home, they can save about 10% per year on heating and cooling bills.

Maintain Your Furnace
Replace furnace filters regularly and schedule a maintenance appointment if need. Make sure that furniture and other items aren’t blocking heating vents.

Reduce Water Heater Costs
Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Set the temperature of your water heater between 155° and 120° and you can reduce energy costs by as much as 10%. Adding jacket insulation for the water heater, add pipe wrap, washing clothes in cold water and cleaning the dryer lint trap after each use can help you save even more.

Use Energy Efficient Holiday Lights
ENERGY STAR®-qualified light emitting diode (LED) holiday lights make it possible to spread cheer without racking up a huge electricity bill

Use the Home Energy Suite
New Richmond Utilities provides an online tool to help you create a customized energy usage report, explore why your bill might have changed year to year and identify more ways to save. Go to www.nrutilities.com and select the Home Energy Suite Icon at the bottom of the page to access the Home Energy Suite.