Ask the Experts: Answers to Common Energy Efficiency Questions
Two of MGE’s Energy Experts, Leah Samson and Laura Paprocki
Our team of Energy Experts has answers to your household energy questions. With decades of combined experience, our team is here to help with energy efficiency, renewable energy, building science and more! Check out their tips below for some of the season’s most common topics.
How can I save energy but still reduce moisture effectively?
- It’s especially important to control high humidity in basements to prevent mold growth and improve indoor air quality. Keep these tips in mind to reduce your dehumidifier’s run time:
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when buying a new dehumidifier. Larger units are typically more efficient and run less.
- If you have a choice of fan speeds on your dehumidifier, higher speeds are more efficient. And, keep it clean. Wipe or vacuum dust and dirt from the coils and fan, and check for leaking hose connections. Be sure to empty it regularly or connect the hose to a drain.
- Set your dehumidifier to a 50% relative humidity setting and remember to reduce spot humidity in your home by using kitchen and bath fans.
How can I keep my home comfortable while managing my energy use?
- If your home has both high and low air returns, give them a quick switch. When we go from heating to cooling, it’s more efficient to close the lower return and ensure the higher one is open.
- Reprogram or upgrade your thermostat. If your schedule has changed with the season, make sure your thermostat’s program reflects it. Smart thermostats make setbacks almost effortless, helping you save energy while asleep or away. Visit mge.com/setback for guidance on recommended settings.
- Pull your window coverings closed to help keep your home cooler during the day. And, remember to lock your windows when using the AC. Unlocked windows allow air to move in and out of the house as energy loss.
Are there home improvements I can make to improve my home’s energy efficiency?
- FOCUS ON ENERGY®, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency program, can help you find out! Focus on Energy offers a free, online home energy assessment. Answer some questions about your home to get recommendations to save energy. It takes only about 10 minutes but could help generate lasting savings. Visit focusonenergy.com/home-assessment to learn more!
Have an energy-related question?
Email us at AskExperts@mge.com or call 608-252-7117.