Top Two Ways to Save on Heating This Winter
It’s been a stressful year for the energy grid here in Central Texas. Remember the rolling blackouts in February? Hundreds of thousands of households and businesses experienced power outages in controlled 45 minute cycles in order to compensate “for a power shortage linked to the extreme cold weather.” But February didn’t see the only rolling blackouts of 2011; in August KUT news issued an advisory to 71 areas in Central Texas that could experience rolling blackouts due to extreme heat. Yikes. We’ve had our ups and downs in a big way this year, so what can we do to cut down on energy demand?
In order to ease the stress on the grid this winter, Central Texans and folks everywhere can use these top two energy saving tips from Earth911’s Home Weatherizing Tips for Renters and Owners:
1. Weather stripping and caulking – check windows and doors to make sure they are properly caulked and sealed. “If you can see under your door to the outside, you need to put some kind of weather strip – some call it a door sweep – on the door to close that up,” is the advice of Denise Durret from the EPA’s Energy Star program. Sealing cracks and leaks is the number one most important thing to help save on heating costs.
2. Lower the temperature, but don’t turn off the thermostat – a common misconception is that you’ll save the most energy by turning the thermostat completely off. This doesn’t actually work because often times your heating system will have to go in to overdrive (and expend much more energy) to catch up to a desirable temperature when you turn it back on. Durret recommends turning the temperature down to 60 degrees during the day when you’re gone, and gradually raising the temperature back up when you return.
Hope these tips help us all to save energy and dollars this winter!
(image: Kenne Turner)