Get Cozy With Home Energy Savings
If you’re a homeowner, you know there’s more to getting set for cold weather than digging out your coat, scarf, and favorite fuzzy boots; it’s time to make sure your home is winter-ready too. More than half the energy a typical home uses goes toward heating and cooling. The Federal Trade Commission has some energy saving tips to help you get the most from the energy you use and avoid a home-heating scam.
Remember that small energy savings add up. Think about lowering your thermostat, replacing air filters in the heating system, and closing fireplace dampers when you aren’t using the fireplace. A home energy assessment will show if your home is losing energy through air leaks, an under-insulated attic, or ducts. Your utility company may offer free or low-cost energy assessments, or it may recommend a local company or organization to do them. The Department of Energy has more resources at energysavers.gov.
Whether you take the DIY route or hire a professional, don’t look to radiant energy barriers to reduce your heating bills. That’s not what barriers are designed to do, despite sales talk you might hear. Radiant barriers can lower air-conditioning costs for some homes in locations like Miami or Austin, but they reduce heating costs by an amount ranging from zero to insignificant. Learn more about radiant barriers from the Department of Energy. For more ideas about energy efficiency and saving money, go to FTC.gov/green.