Fall Energy Saving Tips: From HVAC to Window Upgrades and Beyond
You've enjoyed a long summer of temperate weather and sunny days. Now, the leaves are changing colors, and the temperatures are starting to drop as sunset creeps earlier into the day. Suddenly, the windows you kept open on warm days are closed, your heater is working overtime, and your energy bill is increasing monthly.
It can be tough to keep your energy bill in check when temperatures plummet. But with these fall energy-saving tips, you can upgrade your home to keep the heat indoors.
How to Save Energy During Fall
Not every fall energy-saving tip requires you to take on a home renovation. In fact, many of the best tips to help you save energy require no money or effort. Here are a few strategies you can employ to lower your electric and gas bills and stay warm:
- Keep your thermostat at or under 68 degrees: In many homes, the biggest culprit behind a hefty electric bill is the thermostat. Running your heater at an unnecessarily high temperature can eat up your energy budget quickly. Setting the thermostat to 68 allows you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without burning too much energy.
- Employ space heaters: Space heaters use energy, but not as much as your furnace. You can lower your thermostat temperature or turn it off during the day and use space heaters in any frequently used areas of the home. Just remember to turn them off whenever you're out of the room to help minimize fire risks.
- Strategically close the blinds: One of the easiest fall energy-saving tips is to close the blinds or curtains on windows that aren't receiving direct sunlight. This prevents heat from leeching out of your home. At the same time, opening the blinds on sun-facing windows can heat up your home.
- Reverse your fan direction: During the summer, your fan should spin counterclockwise to help pull down warm air and cool it. In winter, set your fan direction to spin clockwise. This creates an updraft that sucks away the cold air and spreads the warm air around the room.
- Close the fireplace damper: If you're not actively using your fireplace, close the damper. An open fireplace damper allows warm air to float out through the chimney.
- Maintain your furnace: Regular furnace maintenance can increase its efficiency, especially if it's an older model. This can also help you save money in the long term by preventing breakdowns that necessitate a costly replacement.
Home Upgrades That Can Help You Save Energy During Fall
If standard fall energy-saving tips aren't cutting it, or just don't keep your home warm enough to be comfortable, then it's time to make an upgrade. Here are some home upgrades that can reduce your energy consumption in the fall:
- Window upgrades: Installing new windows may not sound like a big upgrade, but modern windows are significantly better at retaining heat. If you have older single-paned windows, you should absolutely upgrade to double-paned windows. These do a much better job of retaining heat than single-pane windows and also provide better sound dampening.
- HVAC upgrades: Upgrading your HVAC system to a newer, more efficient model can significantly reduce your energy usage over time. It can even allow you to run the thermostat at higher temperatures than usual while still using less energy than an older, inefficient HVAC system.
- New insulation: Adding new insulation to your home can help you passively save energy at any time of year. In the fall and winter, it keeps warm air in your home and prevents cold air from seeping through the walls.
Energy Savings for Fall FAQs
How can I save energy when it's cold?
The best ways to save energy when it's cold include closing the blinds, upgrading your windows, using blankets, and reversing the rotation direction of your fan.
Closing the blinds helps prevent heat from leeching out of your home. Opening them on the sunny side can also help keep your living space warm.
Upgrading your windows is one of the most efficient ways to save energy on heating. Modern windows trap heat much better than older single-pane glass windows.
Using a blanket instead of turning up your thermostat is a great way to save energy and get into the spirit of the season. A one-time purchase of a large throw blanket can save you hundreds of dollars on heating expenses over time. And what’s better than cozying up under a blanket with a mug of hot cider?
Do home upgrades really save you money long term?
Over a long enough period of time, home upgrades can save you money on your energy bill. In particular, upgrading the windows and insulation in your home can make it far more energy efficient.
Adding new insulation prevents heat trapped in your home from flowing outside. In the summer, it traps the cold air in your home, saving energy at all times of the year.
New windows also keep heat inside your home. This is especially true for double-paned windows, which have a gap between two panes that prevents the outside temperature from affecting the interior of your home too much.
Rely on Neighborly for Help Saving Energy During Fall
If you want to upgrade your home to make it more energy-efficient during the fall, Neighborly® is here to help. Our family of brands includes HVAC specialists, home window repair and installation experts, and other professionals who can help you save energy in the fall.
Contact us today to schedule a service and learn more about saving energy in cold weather.