Conservation Corner – January 2023

Hot Tips to Cool Your Electric Bill Right Now

Although we are in the middle of winter, and some larger energy saving projects may be undesirable in the cold, there are still some actions you can take now to help you save dollars on your electric heating bill.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.

In the future, consider planting deciduous trees on the south-facing side of the home, especially in proximity to windows. They will let light and warmth in the windows during the winter and will shade the windows in the summer.

Cover Drafty Windows

Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on drafty windows.

Consider other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

Adjust the Heating Temperature

When you are home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable.

When you are asleep or out of the house, turn the thermostat down to save as much as 10% per year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set your temperature.

If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Check our website for great promotions on thermostats.

Find & Seal Leaks

Seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. This also has the potential to help keep out small critters and bugs.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

Install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.

Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

Hire a professional to review your fireplace systems.

Lower Water Heating Costs

Keep the temperature of the water heater to the warm setting (120°F). This will not only save energy, it will also help avoid scalding. Make sure your water heater is insulated well and in a warm area without drafts.

For more great ideas visit our Energy Efficiency page.


Charlie DeSalvo, Energy Efficiency Specialist

If you have any questions about energy efficiency, email Charlie DeSalvo or call (509) 526-4041.