The news is full of stories about increased heating costs this year. Natural gas prices, alone, may increase by an average of 30%. FOCUS ON ENERGY® is here to help you soften the impact on your wallet. Here are seven ways to make your home ready for the winter.
1. Get a FREE energy-saving pack from Focus on Energy
Have you ordered your FREE energy-saving pack yet? It’s an easy way to experience quick energy benefits. You’ll find a variety of products that will help you save energy this winter. Whether you choose LED bulbs to brighten your home on dark winter days or pipe insulation to reduce heat loss from your hot water pipes, you’ll be glad you took advantage of this offer. You have five options, and you can order one of these packs once a year! Order today.
2. Replace furnace filters monthly
We all forget this most basic task. When your furnace filter gets dirty, it reduces efficiency, drives up heating bills, and shortens the life of the equipment. Check and replace your filter monthly during the winter and one to three months during the rest of the year, following manufacturer’s instructions.
There are mobile apps that can remind you AND smart thermostats will as well. See step 5.
3. Seal air leaks and improve insulation
According to ENERGY STAR®, air leakage and poor insulation can waste 20% or more of the energy used to heat or cool a home. Improving your insulation and filling gaps in drywall, electrical fixtures, pipes, fans, ductwork, and other trouble areas will help prevent wasted energy and money. Schedule an appointment with a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor and receive cash incentives to put toward air sealing and insulation upgrades.
4. Lower the hot water temperature
Water heating is the home’s second highest energy user. Water heaters are typically set at 140° F. Simply reducing the temperature to 120° F will save you energy and money, while still giving you enough heat for bathing, doing the laundry, and washing dishes.
5. Install a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats keep you comfortable when you are home, save energy when you’re away, and can even learn your schedule and preferences to further improve heating and cooling efficiency. Plus, you can control settings remotely at any time from your phone, computer, and other connected devices. Focus on Energy even offers incentives for installing smart thermostats. You can learn more or purchase one directly from our marketplace today.
6. Use your window coverings
Window coverings are surprisingly effective and quite easy. Curtains, shades, and drapes provide more insulation than you might expect. Draw your window coverings at night and when you’re away to conserve energy and keep heat in your home.
Low-E Storm Windows create a tight seal and a layer of insulating airspace over existing windows, which keeps your home warmer during the long Wisconsin winter and stops your furnace from running so often. These storm windows also keep heat out during the summer, leading to a 12-33% annual decrease on heating and cooling bills. Those are similar energy savings to ENERGY STAR certified replacement windows at nearly half the cost.
The windows can go on the inside or outside of your existing window, and you can install them yourself.
7. Schedule a home energy assessment
For a comprehensive look at your home heading into the winter season, schedule an energy assessment with a Trade Ally contractor. You’ll get a full evaluation of your home’s systems and structure that pinpoints issues and outlines solutions and incentives.
Focus on Energy’s solutions offer Wisconsin residents many ways to reduce energy waste AND save you money.
Find the program for you today!