How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient This Fall?

Posted: September 9, 2019

Home energy efficiency

Fall is just a few weeks away here in Androscoggin County – cool weather is on our doorstep, and the first heating bills of the season won’t be far behind.

If you’re looking for ways to keep those heating bills as low as possible, here are 12 of the best ways to do it:

No-cost fixes

  1. Use your programmable thermostat – Properly using programmable thermostat can help you save 10 percent on your heating bills, says the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Aim for a home temperature of 68 degrees for the best balance of comfort and energy efficiency when people are home.
  2. Let the sun shine in – Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day to absorb solar heat. Just make sure to close them at night to keep that heat in.
  3. Lower your water heater thermostat – The default setting of most water heater thermostats is 130 to 140 degrees; 120 degrees is enough for most hot water applications in your home.
  4. Use a cold setting for clothes washing – Today’s detergents work equally well on cold and warm settings. Why bother to heat 30+ gallons of water per load when it’s not necessary?
  5. Reverse your ceiling fan – Most ceiling fans are reversible with the flip of a switch; make sure yours is set to force rising warm air back downward into the room during the fall and winter.

Moderate-cost fixes

  1. Weatherize – The average American home leaks the equivalent of an open window’s worth of air through leaks around doors and windows and through walls, ceilings, and other cavities. Those air leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars by forcing your furnace or boiler to overwork to keep you comfortable. Caulking and weather sealing are cheap, effective ways to minimize leaks.
  2. Install better window treatments – Your curtains and blinds can have a big impact on your energy bills, so choose your window treatments wisely.
  3. Install low-flow showerheads and aerators – Low-flow showerheads and aerators (the screw-on tip to your faucets) can cut your hot water usage in half without any noticeable difference in water pressure or comfort.
  4. Service your equipment – Preventative maintenance for your propane- or oil-fired equipment is the key to keeping it operating at peak efficiency month after month, year after year. Schedule your heating maintenance before the cold Maine nights arrive!

Big-ticket items

  1. Add insulation – Most homes – especially older ones – are under-insulated. A one-time investment in proper insulation can cut your energy bills by up to 10 percent every year. Check out these DOE insulation tips and guidelines.
  2. Replace single pane windows – If your budget allows, consider replacing single pane windows with Energy Star™ rated models. You’ll have fewer drafts, which will take some of the pressure off your gas furnace.
  3. Upgrade older appliances – Most of today’s high efficiency home comfort equipment performs significantly better than older equipment – especially if that equipment hasn’t been properly maintained. If you’re replacing a 10-year-old system, your heating bill might drop 25 percent or more – enough to offset the investment in a new unit in just a few years.

Save money this fall and winter with a heating system upgrade, or a Service Plan for your heating oil- or propane-fired heating system! Contact us today to learn more, or to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new home heating system from Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane!