Fall is officially here, and we want to share a few tips to help you save as the Texas weather starts to cool down little by little over the next few months.
Flip your fans. Ceiling fans aren’t just for when it’s hot inside. They’re also one of the easiest ways to make your home feel warmer when it’s cold, but they have to be set to spin clockwise. To do this, simply flip the switch located on the bottom of the fan’s motor housing. It should be easy to get to, though you may need a stepladder to reach it.
When your ceiling fans spin clockwise (in reverse), they help circulate the warm air that tends to collect near your ceiling (hot air rises). The fans will force this warm air down the sides of your walls, across the floor and back up again, helping to balance the temperature. This is a great way to cut energy costs.
Open-and-shut. Windows and doors are a major source of heat and A/C loss for homes at any time of year—accounting for about 1/3 of the average home’s energy loss.
When it’s cold but still sunny, try opening the curtains and blinds on south-facing windows and doors so the sun’s warmth beams in. As temperatures start to drop later in the day or evening, close your curtains and blinds to help retain the warmth from the day—insulated curtains work even better.
Sixty-eight feels great. Keeping close tabs on your thermostat is an easy way to save. When you’re at home in the cooler months, most experts agree that setting it at 68 degrees is optimal. This keeps the air comfortable without overworking your heater, and that’ll help save you money and preserve the life of your system.
Set it even lower when no one’s home or when it’s late and you’re tucked under the covers. According to the Department of Energy, you can save between 1% and 3% for each degree you bring your thermostat down. And you can make managing those temperatures a snap with a programmable thermostat like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat—it can save up to 12% of your heating bills.
Keep it steamy. Using a humidifier when it’s cold—especially if it’s a dry cold—has several advantages. For one, a humidifier will make your home feel warmer, which means you can set your heat lower and save energy. And they’re also great at reducing static electricity, keeping house plants healthy, controlling snoring, keeping the skin moist and preventing illness, just to name a few.
It’s OK to vent. It’s important you don’t block your heating system’s vents—either by closing them or having objects too close. Closing or obstructing vents can often create more pressure in your ductwork that can cause a suction effect that pulls more cold air in from cracks around windows and doors. The imbalance in pressure can make your heater work harder than it should, as well. And that’s going to burn more energy and shorten the life of your system. As it starts to cool off this year, check your vents and make sure they can blow freely.
From all of us here at Veteran Energy, we hope this autumn brings you much joy and happiness. And we hope these tips help you save a little energy.