There is value in comfort. For us to be comfortable in our homes, our heaters are going to work harder. People's Electric Cooperative (PEC) wants your comfort to be as affordable as possible and remains at the forefront of our mission to provide safe and reliable power at the lowest possible cost.
Following are ways you can conserve energy and gain some control over your winter electric bills:
- Tune-up your furnace. Call a professional HVAC technician to inspect and repair your system and change its filters. Make sure to change your air filter once a month.
- Add insulation. Especially if your home is older, the attic insulation might have fallen out of place and even diminished over the years. That could mean rising warm air is escaping through the roof.
- Seal gaps and cracks. Use caulk or weather stripping to close up holes around doors, windows, outlets and trim where heated air can escape.
- Open the drapes. In the daytime, the sun’s rays will help heat your home for free. Let them shine in all day, then cover windows once the sun goes down. Keep drapes closed at night and keep those that don’t get direct sunlight closed during the day, too.
- Wrap up in layers. It costs a lot less to pull on a sweater or wrap a blanket around you than it does to move the thermostat up even a couple of degrees. Keep blankets on the sofa, and wear socks or fuzzy slippers indoors.
- Humidify. A humidifier will add moisture to the air, which makes it feel warmer and helps retain heat. Your whole house will feel more comfortable if the air isn’t so dry.
- Unblock heating vents. Move furniture and other items away from vents so they can do a good job of evenly distributing warm air throughout the house.
- Turn off exhaust fans. Kitchen and bathroom fans clear the air of odors and too much humidity—but once the air clears, turn them off. The longer an exhaust fan runs, the more heated air it sends outdoors.
- Lower the temperature at bedtime. Throw an extra blanket on your bed and turn the thermostat down several degrees before you turn in. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.
- Close the damper. Keep the fireplace damper closed when it is not in use. Keeping it open can bring cold air into the room.