Temperatures are quickly dropping in Minnesota, with winter just around the corner. We know it’s tempting to turn on the thermostat as soon as you feel a chill in your home, but doing so can make your energy bills add up fast. However, by implementing just a few energy-saving measures, not only can you save money on your utility bills, you can also keep your home even more comfortable. Consider the following energy-saving tips for winter in Minnesota:
Change Thermostat Settings When You Leave
Wondering what you should set your thermostat to in winter? When your family is awake and spending time at home during the day, a common comfortable temperature in your home will most likely be 68-72 degrees. However, if your family is away from the home during the day, or going to sleep at night, it’s recommended to lower your thermostat by 10 degrees at the most, depending on the outside temperature.
According to the Department of Energy, turning the thermostat back for 8 hours a day can save you significantly on HVAC-related utilities each year.
Some people do prefer cooler temperatures in their homes and keep their homes in the low to mid-60s during the winter. Whether you’re a person who likes to keep the home cool, or someone who prefers warmer temps, you might be wondering if it is unhealthy to keep your house cold. The Centre for Sustainable Energy in the UK says cold or damp homes in the winter can lead to colds and illnesses like pneumonia, however, your home’s temperature would have to be in the 50’s before you’re at risk of that.
Address Drafty Windows and Doors
Another energy efficiency tip for winter in Minnesota is to fix any drafty windows before the temperatures before winter arrives. Drafty windows or older doors can many times be the main reason a home may feel unnecessarily cold during the winter. In order to fix such problems, insulate drafty windows either with heavy-duty, clear plastic sheeting or by installing heavy thermal drapes or shades. Old, poorly insulated doors can either be replaced, or door draft stoppers can be installed as an easy way to block out the space between the door and the floor to keep drafts out.
Turn Off Outdoor Water Valves
If you have a central air conditioning unit or other appliances that use water valves that you don’t use during the winter, make sure to drain all pipes of water. Extreme temperatures and thawing of water in these pipes can cause major damage that will be costly to repair come spring.
Replace Your Furnace Filter
When it comes to tips for saving energy in winter, replacing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do. It’s also something that’s neglected by far too many homeowners. It’s recommended that you change your furnace filter monthly. By doing so, you can maintain proper airflow — something that’ll keep your HVAC system safe from working in overdrive, and save you money on your energy bills. If you’re unsure whether your furnace filter needs to be replaced or don’t know the signs that it’s time for a replacement, have a Sedgwick expert come to inspect your HVAC and make sure you’re winter-ready.
Additionally, your HVAC unit should be inspected for mold or any strange noises. If your unit is making any kind of banging or buzzing noise, you should have it inspected by a professional.
Utilize Your Fireplace if You Have One
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have a great way to save on energy. In the fall, have it checked and cleaned. Not only will this improve your home’s air quality, but it will also ensure that you don’t have any drafts coming in through your chimneystack. Your fireplace will add heat to the room it’s in, and the heat will disperse in other rooms, which means less work for your furnace! Create some family time and enjoy the natural heat from your fireplace.
Contact Sedgwick for More Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter in Minnesota
By embracing all of these preventative measures, you’re sure to save energy and cut down on your utility bills, while staying comfortable during the coldest days of winter. For more tips on saving energy in winter, contact the experts at Sedgwick today!