Save Energy This Winter with Some Simple Steps
MGE has some quick, no- and low-cost tips to help save energy and stay comfortable at home.
The holiday season is here and with it often comes a full schedule of events, including gatherings, shopping and decorating. If you’re looking to save energy but don’t have a lot of time, MGE has some quick, no- and low-cost tips to help.
Check your vents
Properly opening and closing high and low vent returns will help your furnace to operate efficiently. If your home has these vents, you will see low vents on the wall near the floor. Straight up from the low vents toward the ceiling will be the high vents.
Remember that hot air rises and cold air falls. In winter, you want the cold air to be drawn through the return registers so the furnace can heat it. You can achieve this by opening low vents and closing top vents.
Check your furnace filter
The furnace filter is a small part of your heating system but an important one. A clogged filter can inhibit airflow. It causes your furnace to work harder and use more energy. During heating season, check your filter monthly, and clean or replace it when it is dirty.
Check your windows
Leaving windows unlocked allows the air to move in and out of the house as energy loss. It's common for the upper sash of a window to "fall down" a bit, leaving the top of a double-hung window open, which often goes unseen because of blinds or shades. Ensure this doesn't happen by locking your windows!
And, if you have any drafty windows, consider installing inexpensive window film to help keep the cool air out. These kits are sold at many stores and only require a household hairdryer to install.
Let sunlight help warm your space
Just as shade helps keep you and your home cooler in the summer, letting in the sunlight during winter helps warm a room. Open your blinds or drapes during the day to take advantage of the sunshine, and close them at night to reduce heat loss and drafts.
Heat the person, not the room
Can’t seem to warm up? Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer, get up and move around, or plug in a low-energy-using item such as a heating pad, heated blanket or heated slippers.