Don't Fall Behind on Energy Savings

As summer winds down, follow these tips to save on energy costs through the fall and into the winter.

Cooling and heating your home can be your biggest energy users. Since fall in Wisconsin typically has unpredictable temperature swings, following these tips can help you conserve energy through the change of seasons.

Take advantage of the sun

On warm summer days, closing shades will help keep your home cool and save on air-conditioning costs. Conversely, on cool days, the sun's heat can be used to keep your home comfortable. Open shades and blinds during the day to take full advantage.

Open shades and blinds

Inspect your furnace

With winter around the corner, it is best to check your furnace to be sure it is in proper working order before it gets too cold. Have a professional tune up your heating system at least every other year. If you have an older system, or one that runs on fuel oil or LP, it might be time to consider switching to a natural gas furnace with at least 90% efficiency.

Having both your AC and furnace checked together can save time and money compared to scheduling separate checks.

Check your gas fireplace

Like your furnace, your gas fireplace should be checked for proper operation. Natural gas fireplaces are cozy and convenient, and add value and warmth to any home.

Replace filters

Both your air conditioner and furnace need clean filters for optimal performance. Filters should be checked monthly to keep your heating and cooling units running most efficiently. If your filter is dirty, clean or replace it.

Check for leaks

Air can escape through leaks around doors, windows and other locations in your home, leading to higher energy bills. Sealing these leaks can increase your comfort and reduce your energy usage, helping you save on costs.

Installing temporary plastic kits on your windows will usually pay for themselves over the course of a winter. Properly applied, these kits not only stop drafts but provide another layer between you and the outdoors. The kits are a way to simulate the effect of installing new windows—think of them as temporary storm windows that you have to buy every year.

Avoid using space heaters

As the days get chillier, resist using electric space heaters for heat. Using your furnace, even if it is for just a few hours a day, is more energy efficient than using a space heater. Using a portable electric space heater can be one of the most expensive ways to heat your home.

Visit energy2030together.com/energyuse for additional features to save energy. Or, if you have questions, call one of our energy experts at the MGE Home Energy Line, 608-252-7117.

published: 07-26-2017