Winter Home Weatherization Tips
Every year MEWS receives calls from concerned customers about their utility bills or possibly questioning the accuracy of their electric meter. Many of these calls come during the winter months, however, what we don’t take in consideration is how our habits change during this seasons. Winter weather brings customers inside their homes, running heaters, televisions, electronics, and leaving the lights on longer. We simply use more electricity during the winter. If you have concerns with your utility bill there are energy saving tips you can utilize to assist in keeping your bills from rising as the temperature drops.
Add insulation in walls, attic, and floors: Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors adds resistance to the flow of heat and decreases the heating needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Add pipe insulation to the first 5 feet of water pipe coming from your water heater. Install light switch and electrical outlet seals on exterior walls.
Seal your windows: Any season of the year is a good season to seal up the house, but you may notice leaky windows more in the winter. Especially if drafts blowing in around the frame make you cold.
Open window coverings for heat: In the winter, open window coverings on the sunny side of your home to take advantage of free heat from the sun.
Install an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat can save you 10% on your heating bill by programming your thermostat to be at a lower temperature at night or when you are away from your home. If you are at home bundle up instead of raising the temperature.
Check your water heater: Electric water heaters are heavy electric users. Always make sure your water heater is clear from silt or other water residue. What happens is the silt insulates the water causing your water heater to work harder to heat the same amount of water. Set your water heater temperature to 120° to reduce unnecessary usage.
Change your HVAC filters monthly: Keeping your HVAC system properly maintained can help reduce your heating cost. A good rule of thumb, check your filters once a month when your utility bill arrives.
Secure Water Meter Lids: Make sure your water meter lid is on tight and secure to prevent the meter from freezing.
Wrap exposed pipes: Cover any exposed pipes with insulating materials. If you do not have commercial insulating materials, use plastic, newspaper, rags or blankets.
These are just a few energy saving tips to help you reduce your utility bill and keep pipes from freezing this winter. If you are questioning your electric consumption, you can always register for a free online usage monitoring account at www.myusage.com and monitor your usage daily or call our office for assistance.