Thu Feb 14th, 2019
Tags: Colorado, LEAP, LPEA, Winter
January, February and March are some of the coldest, snowiest and wettest months in Colorado. Temperatures will fluctuate into the low teens, single digits and even below zero over the next few weeks. LEAP, the low-income energy assistance program, wants to share some helpful tips on how you can keep your home nice and toasty without dropping big bucks on a heating bill.
- Run fans in reverse: Ceiling fans don’t just help to keep you cool. In fact, by running the fan clockwise you can force the warmer air near the ceiling down, warming the room and cutting your heating costs nearly 10 percent.
- Lower the hot water temperature: By lowering your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or less, you can cut your water heating costs by 6 to 10 percent, while also reducing the risk of getting burned.
- Reduce drafts: Cold drafts can potentially waste up to 30 percent of your energy use. By placing a rolled bath towel under the door, you can trap in the heat and keep the cold air out. There are also several products available to temporarily seal windows to reduce heat loss through single-pane windows.
- Replace the filters: For as little as $10 you can replace your central air and heating system filters, resulting in improved efficiency and longevity. Use thick curtains to prevent heat loss through the windows. Curtains with a thermal lining are relatively inexpensive and can retain heat, reducing heat loss up to 10 percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy. However, it’s also beneficial to let sunlight in to naturally warm your home. So, whenever the sun fails to make an appearance in the winter keep those curtains closed.
- Hardwood floors are a common theme in homes nowadays, but carpet is actually a better option for preventing heat from escaping. Floors account for as much as 10 percent of heat loss. If you have wood floors with gaps and cracks it’ll be beneficial to fill those in. You may also want to use more rugs and blankets to cover the floor and keep your feet warmer in the winter.
- Lower the thermostat: Make it a habit to lower the heat when you leave your home. Be mindful of the energy you are using when nobody is home. Most households spend 50 to 70 percent of their energy budgets on heating and cooling. So, for every degree that you lower your thermostat when you aren’t there you can save one to three percent on your heating bill.
- Chimneys are also a common place for the outflow of heat. If the chimney is never in use, consider getting it capped by a professional. Otherwise, a removable chimney balloon may be used to prevent excessive heat loss when you don’t have a fire burning.
- Remove window A/C units: Cool air can sneak through the cracks on any window A/C units. Also, be sure to caulk any gaps or cracks you may have in your windows, doors or walls that may be letting cold air in.
For more information on how LEAP can help you during the winter season, visit https://www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap or call HEAT HELP (1-866-432-8435).
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