Now is the time to start winterizing your home. Here are a few tips brought to you by Realgy Energy Services to help you prepare for the colder weather and increase your energy efficiency.
Just like your air conditioner, your furnace should also get an annual check-up from a certified HVAC technician before the heating season. Keeping your furnace and ducts clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use and save you money.
At the very least, make sure to clean or replace the air filter on your furnace before starting it for the first time and check it every month. A dirty filter will restrict airflow and increase energy use and even possibly lead to premature failure of the unit.
While you are checking on your furnace, don’t overlook the hot water heater; if it is warm to the touch, it needs more insulation. Consider installing a water heater blanket or jacket insulation around the tank which will help prevent heat loss; be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered. You should also insulate hot water pipes to further reduce heat loss.
Insulating your hot water heater and pipes will decrease your energy consumption and increase your savings; as a bonus this will even allow you to turn down the water temperature to around 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a fireplace always keep the damper closed when not in use to prevent heat loss. Ensure the chimney is clean and soot free; you should also cover the top of the chimney with a protective cap or screen to keep out unwanted debris and small animals.
Take the time now to seal cracks and crevices around windows and doors using caulk or weather-stripping. If you have old windows and are not planning on replacing them before the cold weather, consider using a shrink plastic kit to keep hot air in and cold air out.
Use these simple tips to get your home ready for the winter chill and increase your energy savings.
Spring cleaning usually involves making sure all the nooks and crannies are clean after the long winter months. This year why not use these helpful tips to increase the energy efficiency of your home or office. Not only will your energy usage decrease so will your energy bills!
Refrigerators account for up to eleven percent of the total energy used, which has a major impact on your energy bill. Make sure you clean the condenser coils to ensure that air can circulate freely, if dust builds up clogging the coils the motor must work harder and use more electricity. You should also check the door seals to ensure they are air tight. You can do this by placing a piece of paper in-between the door, if you can pull it out without difficulty you may need to adjust the latch or consider replacing the seals.
Don’t forget about your Air conditioner call to schedule a checkup to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency. If you have central air conditioning, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. You can save approximately six to seven percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78. If you are in the market to replace your old central air conditioner, make sure to look for a new ENERGY STAR qualified model. These energy-efficient models can reduce your cooling costs by 20 percent.
If you do not have an AC, proper ventilation of your home or office can provide the same level of comfort at a much lower cost. A whole house ventilation system will draw cool air through the house. Ceiling fans are another option to create a cool breeze and keep the air circulating in your home, ensure that all fans are working properly and are dust-free.
Last but not least, if your home or office has a sliding glass door, make sure to keep its track clean. A dirty track can ruin the door’s seal, resulting in gaps where cold air can escape.
Now that your home and or office is clean and energy-efficient, why not save even more money by checking out Realgy Energy Services low monthly rates on Natural Gas and Electricity. Our customers have saved upwards of 19% on their energy costs over a twelve month period as compared to their local utility. Check out our website www.RealgyEnergyServices.com, or call one of our Energy Brokers at (877) 300-6747 to learn how you can save on your energy usage.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Energy Savers Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home”
Home Energy Team, “Energy Efficient Solutions”
Money Crashers “House Spring Cleaning Tips & Checklist – How to Spring Clean“
Most Utilities offer energy incentives and rebates to their customers for making efficient upgrades in their lives. This could mean purchasing new energy-efficient products, making energy-efficient home improvements, or even recycling old appliances, such as refrigerators, which could be costing you an extra $150 a year.
Some utilities, like ComEd in Illinois, offer refrigerator and freezer recycling to their residential customers. ComEd will give you $50 for each working unit, and the best part is that they will pick up for free.
Consumers Energy in Michigan offers a wide range of rebates and incentives to both Commercial and Residential customers. This includes rebates for the purchase for CFL or LED lights, water heaters and Energy Star appliances. Just be sure to fill out the correct rebate forms, which are all available on the Consumers Energy website.
The State of Indiana has even created a multi-utility energy efficiency initiative called Energizing Indiana. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, participating Indiana utilities and consumer organizations, have created Energizing Indiana to bring savings to Indiana residents. Some of the programs offered by Energizing Indiana include instant savings on CFL bulbs, free in-home energy audits and energy efficiency education.
Citizens Gas in Indiana offers rebates to existing customers for purchasing efficient natural gas furnaces, water heaters boilers and programmable thermostats. Citizens Gas is also offering rebates to customers who convert their old furnace or water heater to natural gas. For a natural gas water heater conversion they are offering $400. The rebate form is also available on their website.
Michigan Gas Utilities and SEMCO are among a handful of Utilities in Michigan that have partnered with the Michigan Public Service Commission to create Energy United. Energy United provides rebates and programs to help local residents reduce their energy use and achieve cost savings. Programs include Residential HVAC rebates, online home energy audits and low-income energy efficiency assistance, to name just a few.
These are just a few utilities and organizations that offer incentives and rebates for creating energy-efficient homes and businesses. Be sure to check your local utility website for more information on programs they may offer.
Learn more about Rebates and Incentives Programs
Outdoor natural gas and electric meters are designed to withstand winter weather conditions, but heavy or hard-packed snow and ice can present a safety hazard.
Accumulated snow can place unnecessary stress and strain on your gas meter piping which can increase the chance of a gas leak.
Blocked regulator vents, which allow your system to “breath”, can affect operation and interrupt service.
To avoid problems, follow some basic meter protection tips:
Meter Protection Tips:
Keep you meter clear of snow and ice.
Do not shovel snow up against your meter.
Take care in using a snow blower or plow near your meter.
NEVER kick or hit a meter to break away built-up snow or ice.
Remove icicles from overhangs.
Protect your meter from dripping water which could freeze.
If you find your meter or pressure regulator covered in frozen ice or snow, do not attempt to remove the ice or use de-icer, contact your Utility.
It is always a good idea to keep a clear path to your meter to avoid estimated meter readings. If you can’t get to your meter, the individual who reads your meter will not be able to either.
These helpful tips provided by Realgy Energy Services