Other Tips for Energy Saving In and Around Your Home:
Water Heaters are second in line for energy consumption. Lower the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat from 140 to 120 degrees for electric and from hot to warm on gas water heaters. Besides saving energy it’s also safer to prevent against scalds. Insulate hot water pipes run through unheated spaces.
Much of your heated room air can be drawn up your fireplace chimney. If you use your fireplace, when the flames die back, cold drafts enter the room. To avoid this close the flue damper and fireplace glass doors when not in use.
Replace your old incandescent bulbs with the newer energy-conscious LEDs. They come in different light shades that will flatter most environments and complexion tones. Many are also dimmable. And with the holiday season upon us, use LEDs in all your decorating. Not only are they energy-efficient but they are safer as well. And lights out when not using them, too! ☺
Check electrical outlets for drafts, particularly outlets on outside walls. Place foam outlet insulators under the cover plate and plug inserts into unused outlets.
Unplug unused electronics or plug into a power strip that can be easily switched off. Unplug chargers for your cell phone and other devices when not being used.
Check all door openings for air leakage and replace worn weather-stripping, door bottoms, and thresholds, if necessary. Add additional insulation in your attic to bring the R-value to the recommended minimum in Virginia of R30. You have a choice of either batts, blankets, or loose-fill. R38 to R60 in attics and R25 to R30 for floors is recommended by energystar.gov for Zone 4 / Virginia.
Seal all exterior wall penetrations around plumbing pipes, electrical, and anything that goes through walls, floors, or roofs. Use masonry caulk, roof caulk, or insulating spray foam. This will also help to keep field mice, snakes, and bugs from looking for a warmer winter residence as well.
There can be a lot of heat loss in the winter through glass windows. Use of any window covering helps block some of the cold air, so when the sun goes down close windows to keep the heated air in. Thermal window treatments offer the best energy efficiency against heat loss.
Landscape for energy efficiency. Plant evergreens as a windbreak on the northern and western sides of the house. Plant deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall on the southern and western sides of the house to allow the sun’s rays to pass through the tree and warm your home in the colder months.
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