THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Wet weather and cold air are rolling through southeast Texas just in time for the holidays. As you break out your coat and gloves, there’s no time like the present to implement helpful energy-saving tips so you can keep the cash in your wallet while keeping the cold outside where it belongs.
“We haven’t had much in the way of cool weather, but that’s starting to change,” said Vernon Pierce, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas. “When that cold weather rolls through, it is important to winterize your house to help save you money.”
Heating and air conditioning can account for as much as 55 percent of your monthly electric bill. Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter is an easy way to reduce how much energy you use. Every degree above 68 on the thermostat can increase your bill by about 3 percent. So if you crank it up to a toasty 78 degrees, you’ve already added 30 percent. Other tips include:
- Seal leaks around your doors and windows to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Keep all doors and windows closed when the heat is on.
- Open drapes to let warm sunlight in during the day. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
- Schedule a heating system checkup with a licensed professional if you haven’t already done so.
- Do not block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
- Check air and furnace filters every 30 days or as required by the type of filter. Clean or replace them as needed.
- Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
- Close the damper on fireplaces when not in use.
- When you change your light bulbs, replace them with energy-efficient models. Entergy recommends ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs that use 70 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days.
Published by The Paper on Tue, 12/13/2016