November through March in the Lewiston-Auburn area is a true “winter wonderland,” but it also is the season when homeowners must turn up the heat. And you know what that means: higher heating and electricity bills. But guess what? By using good old-fashioned Maine know-how AND a dash of new technology, you can seriously save electricity and lower your power bills this winter. Here’s how!
Set Your Thermostat Lower
The easiest, fastest way to save electricity and lower your power bills is to simply lower the temperature in your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Energy Saver” page, the best temperature to set your thermostat at is 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and lower (60 to 62 degrees) at night, while you sleep.
Lower the Temp on Your Water Heater
Your water heater is one of the biggest energy-users—and wasters—in your house, partly because, if you’re like most people, you’ve set the thermostat on it too high. Lowering the temperature by just a few degrees can save a lot of money in the long run—and you likely won’t even feel the difference!
Install a Smart Thermostat
Here’s where modern technology can REALLY save you money. A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings for peak energy efficiency. Even better, by purchasing a smart thermostat, you can quality for a $200 rebate from Maine state government’s Efficiency Maine program!
Seal Air Leaks
Heating and cooling experts say that if you added up the heat loss from all the leaks, holes, drafts, and gaps in a typical home, it would be the same as having a window open every single day of the year! Battle that by using caulk and weather-stripping to seal air leaks. And be sure to check your attic and basement, as they often hide the worst leaks. Apply new caulk to any broken seals, and replace any damaged or missing weather stripping.
Use Temporary Insulation on Your Windows
Even well-sealed windows can let beneficial heat slip away. So insulate your windows for winter by sealing the frame clear plastic window film. It’s inexpensive, easy to apply, and easy to remove in the spring.
Use Free Solar Energy
If you can install solar panels in your home, great! But even without them, you can benefit substantially from solar energy. Just open your blinds and curtains when the sun is out, and allow that money-saving solar energy into your home!
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