Save Energy in the Fall
Summer is winding down, and the seasons aren’t the only thing in transition. Your energy bills are about to change too. For those of us with cold winters, the nights will get chilly and soon the leaves will be falling. For those in warmer climates, well, you’ll be experiencing a more pleasant transformation, where you’ll see your air conditioner usage decline and your energy bills go down somewhat dramatically.
No matter where you live, a change in season means a change in your energy usage. Since the biggest change right now is in the Northern US and Canada, that’s where we’ll focus.
1. Sealing your A/C. When the cool weather hits, remove your portable air conditioners and window units. Chances are you won’t need them anymore for the remainder of the year. Take care, store them carefully, and clean them well. Be careful when you take the unit out not to damage internal components or bend the coils. Also, please don’t drop them – they not only hurt if you drop them on your feet (ouch), the compressor can be damaged or jarred.
If you can’t remove the A/C from the window, make sure it is well insulated and covered. An open or unsealed a/c unit leaks energy during the colder months like you wouldn’t believe. Cover it with insulated blankets, and make sure they are strapped on securely. If you can remove the unit, make sure any gaps, cracks, or holes are sealed when you close the window.
2. Remove screens from windows. If you have double insulated windows, or gas filled windows this may not be necessary. For those of us who live in older homes, take down the screen window or slide it out of the way, and replace it with the “storm” windows. Make sure the storm windows are in good working order.
3. Seal gaps and cracks in doors and doors with a polyurethane sealant or caulk. Get one to match the trim or moulding around the window/door and make sure it is weatherproof and waterproof (if it is outside).
4. Now is the time for a furnace tune up. Call or check around, this is the season when a lot of HVAC contractors are having furnace tuning specials. Get a deal on a tune up today.
5. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. This circulates warmer air downwards and helps warm the rooms.
6. Service or clean fireplaces. Make sure they are in working order, including gas or electric fireplaces.
7. Adjust the thermostat for winter or colder weather usage when the time is right. Don’t turn on your furnace until all the windows in your home are closed and locked/sealed!