Energy Conserving Tips for “Fall Back” Savings

Photo from Secure Lite Window Company

In the United States, we change our clocks in the spring for Daylight Savings Time and in the fall for Standard Time. As Sunday November 6 approaches, we welcome the moment to set our clocks back by one hour, since our days are shorter and the nights get longer. As a constant reminder, do not forget to change the batteries in your fire alarms and change the air furnace filters in your home.

Many of these things are recommendations you have heard before, but with the cost of fuel and electricity going up, we all could use that extra money to spend on something else more utilitarian. Here are some practical energy and money-saving tips to help you prepare to winterize your home:

  • Change your air furnace filter

Based on the type of filter you have, we suggest that you change your air filters every 3 to 6 months, based on usage and indoor air quality. Filters help to capture airborne allergens and pollutants that could trigger health ailments and such things as carpet soiling. Proper maintenance of your air furnace will help to optimize the performance of your system, especially during the cold days of the winter season.

  • Unplug appliances and electronics

Many appliances like washing machines, dryers, electronics, cell phone chargers and other electrical appliances tend to draw a lot of power when they are still turned off and plugged into the socket. To prevent constant draining of your power, unplug those electrical-related items.

  • Check for air leakage

During the winter months especially, warm indoor air can seep through any size space and escape out of your home. Be sure to secure around your windows and doors to prevent this loss of energy and rising heating costs.

  • Turn off the lights

Unknowingly, we tend to leave lights on in unoccupied rooms. Try using Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) in place of your standard incandescent light bulb. These light bulbs remind you of a neon light, but use 75% less energy and lasts up to 10 times longer than your standard bulb.

  • Allow natural light during the day

Instead of keeping your blinds or curtains closed during the day (which keeps your house cooler by the way), allow the sunlight to shine in and warm the inside of your home. This will help to reduce the use of your air furnace and saves energy! Cha-ching$

  • Unblock vents

If you have anything like furniture, boxes or other storage items in the front of your vents, this will block the flow of air into your living area and put undue strain on your air furnace. If air is not flowing freely from your registers into air returns, this could pose to be a safety hazard and increase your energy costs.

  • Wash with cold water when possible

We know that washing with hot water will dry your skin out from its natural moisture. The same concept applies to your clothes. If you have to use hot water for certain items, that is ok, but where you can transition to using cold water will save the wear on your clothes and save energy. Try to accumulate enough clothes to wash once a week. Frequent washing with your washing machine, as well as your dishwasher, will increase the wattage of energy that you use.

  • Reduce your water heater settings

The ideal setting for the water heater in many homes is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By maintaining a set temperature level, corrosion and mineral build-up is decelerated. Be sure to apply according to the temperature levels in your area and your appliance manuals for suggested temperature settings to help them operated to their maximum potential.

These are just a few practical tips to apply to your home. Preparing your home now to use less energy will show significant savings in your monthly energy bills.

Daylight Savings Time Approaching – Time to Change Your Air Filter

Daylight Savings Time

Image Credit: discoverbuenosaires.com

“Spring forward, fall back.” It’s a simple phrase we’ve used for years to remind ourselves about Daylight Savings Time, when we either advance our clocks forward and back. We moved our clocks one hour forward earlier this Spring, March 2nd to be exact, and we will move our clocks one hour back this fall, on November 6th. While it’s important to note November 6th to make sure you’re in synch with the rest of the world, there is a major reason you may not have thought about yet: replacing your air and furnace filters.

The Northwest Natural Gas Company notes that many American choose Daylight Savings as the time to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors, but we should also replace our furnace filters too. NW Natural states:

 “This will save money and extend the life of your furnace. The easiest and least expensive way to ensure your furnace is running efficiently is to change the filter on a regular basis. For a relatively low cost you can rack up measurable savings on winter heating costs and avoid expensive repairs in the future. Plan to replace your filter every one to three months when the heater is in use. Homes with pets may benefit from replacing the filter more frequently. This is an excellent way to improve home air quality in a season when many more hours are spent indoors.”

Having trouble deciding which furnace filter to buy? Here are a few suggestions:

Filters Fast Air & Furnace Filters MERV 11, 6-pack

  •  These are economical filter replacements sold in a variety of sizes. With a MERV 11 rating you can ensure that your indoor air is protected from dust, dirt, mold spores, and pet dander.

Filtrete Ultra Allergen Air Filter

  •  A high-performing air filter that uses electrostatically charged fibers to attract airborne particles, such as pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander, household dust, smog, bacteria, and virus carrying particles. Also, save $6 through a mail-in-rebate available on our site.

Trion Air Bear Media AC Filter

  •  This pleated air filter features a MERV 8 rating. Trion Air Bear whole-house media AC filters are a practical choice due to the high-efficiency synthetic material used in their construction and their extended-surface pleats that provide for higher dirt-holding capacity. Efficient air conditioning filters can prolong the life of your equipment, and save you money.