Is Saving Energy Rocket Science?
Vol.8 Issue 8

Experts warn that winter heating and electric costs are going to be very high this season. So, what can we do to combat these higher costs? Some of the most effective precautions are based on common sense and are not necessarily rocket science…or are they?

R is for R-factor. One of the most cost-effective energy efficiencies you can do for your home is to add insulation. recommends at least R-38 for attics (where it is often easiest to add) and adding insulation to walls, either by adding foam to uninsulated wall cavities or adding rigid insulation when siding is replaced.

Chart of Recommended insulation levels for retrofitting existing wood-framed buildings

O is for Optimize lighting. Ensure that all lighting fixtures that are used frequently during the day/evening are LED. LED efficiency continues to improve and have a much longer life than other types of lighting.

C is for Caulking. Cold outside air during winter creates more work for your heating system to overcome. Caulk and sealant are very inexpensive. However, caulk can shrink and degrade over time and weathering and shifting can result in gaps or cracks.

Caulking gun working on window frame
Hand drawing creative globe sketch.

K is for Keeping filters clean. Be sure to check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it is dirty. Use a good quality filter to keep dirt/dust from building up on your heat exchanger.

E is for Energy Star appliances. If/when you are replacing appliances in your home, be sure to purchase Energy Star appliances when possible.

T is for Thermostat setting. One of the easiest, but perhaps not the most comfortable, ways to reduce heating bills is to lower your thermostat set-point and dress more warmly when at home. Many people adapt to the cooler setting in a few days and are no longer uncomfortable. Also using a programmable thermostat and having it set the temperature back overnight when you’re asleep and/or when you’re away from home can provide significant savings.

As summer fades and as the cold winds of winter begin to blow, take a few minutes to look at your home’s energy consumption. Energy efficiency is one of the most economical means to save money and promote a sustainable future. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the MMAC Energy Program, please contact the MMAC energy manager at (405) 954-9610.

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