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Preparing for Fall: 7 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Hudson Valley Home
It may not feel this way when you step outside this week, but fall is just around the corner – which means it’s time to prepare for cooler weather and the heating bills that come with it.
Here are 7 things you can do to lower your bills and stay more comfortable this heating season:
Remove window air conditioners – It may be tempting to leave them in – don’t. Window A/Cs leak air like crazy, so it’s best to take them out for the season. Better yet, take them out permanently – ductless systems are a much better value. If window units must stay in place, seal them with caulking or tape and cover them with an airtight, insulated jacket.
Weatherize – Did you know that as much as 20 percent of your heating bill payment literally goes right out the window (and doors)? Caulking windows and installing door sweeps are two simple measures that will more than pay for themselves in energy savings – and keep your family more comfortable, too.
Consider an insulation upgrade – Most homes (especially older ones) are under-insulated – a costly mistake when you consider how much conditioned air you lose through your roof and walls. At minimum, make sure your attic ceiling is insulated to proper R-values, and address floors that border unconditioned spaces like your basement or crawlspace.
Insulate your water heater – If your water heater is warm or hot to the touch, it’s losing its heat to your basement air. Avoid this loss by wrapping the heater in an insulating blanket – just make sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions.
Get to know your thermostat – Most people have a programmable thermostat these days (if you don’t, get one), but most don’t know how to use them. That’s a shame, because programming your thermostat is one of the easiest ways we know to save money on your heating (and cooling) bills.
Consider a furnace or boiler upgrade – Investing in a new, high-efficiency furnace or boiler can save you 30 percent or more on your monthly heating bill. The unit will likely pay for itself in as little as three years.