Keeping Energy Bills Low During the Winter
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Crews with EnergyWise Companies say they've done thousands of energy audits in homes and they know just what to look for.
As the temperatures get lower and thermostats go higher, residents have a few things they can do.
"Most common is too much air leakage, natural air leakage; second most common is ineffective or just low levels of attic insulation," said Vernon Nelson, a consultant with EnergyWise Companies.
A shot through an infrared thermal camera at a poorly insulated attic hatch shows dark blue streaks, which means cold air is seeping into the home.
Proper insulation, especially for rooms around the garage and attic, can be very significant.
Often, the auditors see a lot of energy wasted on storing hot water.
"Many water heaters are far far above 120 degrees delivered to a kitchen faucet, where as if we were to go to Ouray and tour the hot tubs that are around there and the pool, we'd find that 108 degrees is about all we have a tolerance for," said Nelson.
The easiest change that they seem to find the most resistance to is getting rid of traditional light bulbs that emit 90 percent heat and only 10 percent light.
"Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are significantly more efficient than incandescent. LEDs are better than that. The costs aren't what they were three months ago, and the light quality is far, far better," said Nelson.
By making investments to cut your bill during the winter, savings could start to add up annually.
A Few Tips to Remember:
- Clean/replace filters for heating systems.
- Using electric space heaters instead of central heating can be costlier.
- Make sure to latch windows shut when closing them to prevent excess air leakage.
- Use a programmable thermostat to lower the temperature when no one is there, and increase it when there are people in the home.