Winter Prep & Mother Nature

Gearing Up For Old Man Winter While Saving Mother Nature

That fall chill is in the air and before you know it winter will be here. There are a few things you can do to prepare for Old Man Winter that can also help save Mother Nature. Check out some tips from the EPA on how you can keep your home warm, save energy, and help the environment!

  1. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system monthly. Some filters only need to be changed every 3 months. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely. Check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.

  2. Bundle Up Your Home – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. The more heat that escapes, the more cold air enters, causing your system to work harder and use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors – and can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation-pay special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.

  3. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent. Sealing your ducts can save up to $140 annually on energy bills and helps you consistently heat every room.

  4. Don’t Oversize – If you’re replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home – bigger isn’t always better. An oversized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct size and proper airflow will ensure that your equipment works efficiently, saves you money, and helps protect our environment.

  5. Cut Un-Needed Power Usage - A Smart Strip is designed to cut the idle power from devices that are not in use but still drawing power. Devices like a DVD player, sound systems, game consoles, computer speakers, monitors, printers, etc..., all consume power when your not using them. Why pay for it when the cheap and easy purchase of a Smart Strip will save you the idle energy? The best part is that the Smart Strip does it without you having to change anything about how you currently use your entertainment devices!

You can check out more tips from the EPA on staying warm and saving energy this winter while protecting the environment here, http://www.epa.gov/naturalevents/fightfrost.html.

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