Stay Warm, Save Money
Watching your wallet this winter? Explore these great ideas for no-cost and low-cost ways to keep cozy.
While some people might think the southern sun ensures the Valley region is warm year-round, the cold truth is that winter weather hits here – and it can hit surprisingly hard.
As a rule, when temperatures go down, thermostats go up. HVAC systems must then work harder to keep us warm, leading to an increase in electric bills.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“You are in charge of your thermostat,” Brad Wagner, manager of TVA’s EnergyRight residential program, said. “Take control of your home energy costs by setting the thermostat to 68.
“For every degree you turn your thermostat down, you’ll see around a 3% savings on your electric bill. That’s money that can then go somewhere else.”
“Helping Valley residents save energy is a big part of our mission,” he said. “We want to put the power back in your hands, both literally and figuratively.”
Here he offers 10 tips to help you save money – and three small, inexpensive investments that can make a big difference in your energy bill.
Top 10 Tips for Saving Energy This Winter
- Let there be light—Keep curtains open on the south side of the house and closed on the north during the day to trap the warming sunlight.
- Get with the program—Install an ENERGY STAR-certified programmable thermostat and program the temperature to go down at night and when you are away from home.
- Flip it off—Turn off lights in rooms and turn down the heat when you’re out of the house.
- Wrap it up—Use a TVA Quality Contractor to insulate heating and cooling ducts and repair any air leaks, as well as add insulation to your attic, crawlspaces and any accessible exterior walls.
- Check your temp—Set your water heater to 120 degrees. That's hot enough to provide plenty of hot water to the home. Don’t waste energy by heating water to a higher temperature.
- Close the damper—Don’t send warm air up the chimney. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
- Cut a rug—To keep your feet warm, use area rugs if you have hardwood or tile floors..
- Create breathing room—Keep weeds and debris away from the outdoor unit of your heating system.
- Bundle up—Use layered clothing to keep the warmth in.
- Adjust your ceiling fans—Set ceiling fans to run counterclockwise. Heat that has risen to the ceiling will be more evenly dispersed throughout the room.
3 Investments That Pay Big Benefits
- Have your HVAC unit serviced—This will ensure that your unit is clean, tuned up and running well through the coldest months.
- Replace worn weather stripping—If you can see light through your weather stripping around doors, then it’s time to change it. Use caulk to keep the cold out around windows.
- Keep air filters clean—Dirty filters force your furnace to run harder. Replacing them monthly helps your system run more efficiently saving you money on your bill.