It’s almost hard to believe that October is here—unless, of course, you step outside, especially early in the morning. In many parts of the country, the weather has already turned brisk. Here in the Carolinas, there is a definite chill in the air, signaling that leaves will begin changing colors any day now.
This cold weather is welcome by many homeowners, seeking a reprieve from the brutal summer heat—and brutal summer utility bills. As air conditioners are turned off, however, heating units are turned on, which brings with it a whole new set of issues and expenses. The question that many homeowners will ask, then, is how to save energy and curb utility costs during the months of fall and winter. There absolutely are some good, cost-saving and energy-conserving strategies for homeowners to take into consideration. We have listed a few of them below; HOA board members are invited to share these tips with community members!
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. This will cost some money on the front end, but programmable thermostats can be obtained for as little as $50. Set the thermostat a few degrees lower at night and when the house is unoccupied, and it could ultimately lead to energy savings of 10 percent or more.
- Remember that lowering the thermostat by even one degree can cut energy use by two or three percent; by simply wearing long sleeves and socks when you are inside, you can save big money and still be comfortable.
- During the day, open windows and blinds—especially in south-facing rooms—to let the sun heat up the interior of your house. At night, close curtains and blinds to ensure that heat stays in your house.
- Check around windows and doors for any cracks or openings. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal off any passages where warm air could escape the house.
- Get some inexpensive, easy-to-install pipe insulation to keep the pipes leading out of your water heater nice and toasty. This can save lost heat as water is transferred from water heater to faucet.
There are many ways to cut back on heating costs during the winter months—and doing so is not only good for the environment, but also for the homeowner’s pocketbook!