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Have You Ever Wondered How To Make Your Home Less Costly And More Energy Efficient During the Winter Months?

Here are just a few tips to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable temperatures inside your home.

When polled, most consumers point to the fact that monthly utilities are one of their biggest expenses, especially during the winter months. Heating the home by far is probably the more expensive utility bill we will have in most cases. Fortunately, making just a few easy adjustments can drastically reduce the amount we spend on energy consumption.

Here are 10 tips on reducing Energy Consumption and maintaining a Comfortable Climate inside your home this Winter Season.

1- Open your curtains and use the sun for some very welcome free heat, especially the south-facing windows during the winter days, which will bring the free heat inside your home. When the sun goes down, close your window coverings to keep the heat inside. (Installing insulating drapes or shades may be a good idea for the non-daylight hours).

2 - If there are drafty windows in your home, use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet to tape to the inside of your window frames during the winter months. Make sure the film is sealed tightly.

3 - Adjusting your thermostat to appropriate settings during your home and non-sleeping hours, as ell as your away or sleeping hours, should make a big difference. When you are at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are away from home or are sleeping, turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees and save about 10% on your heating bills per season.

4 - Use your ceiling fan's to a greater advantage. Better ventilation and air flow can be more energy efficient year-round when used wisely. With ceiling fans you have more control over ventilation than you know. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow, as a fan run counterclockwise will push hot air up in the summer, but a fan run clockwise will keep heat down low in your rooms, allowing your cooling system to work less in the summer, and your heating system to work less in the winter months. In the winter, keep your ceiling fans on low settings to gently push hot air back down. 

5 - Heat only the rooms you use. If there are rooms you never use, close and seal off the vents in those rooms, and this will allow your home to be more energy efficient by allowing a more direct flow of air to the rooms you use most. Using a space heater in the rooms you use, and keeping the house thermostat at 62 degrees will save you even more each year.

6 - Keep your furnace and furnace filter clean and unblocked. Keeping your furnace and ductwork/vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help keep your bills down. Change your furnace filter monthly.

7 - Find and seal leaks. Seal the leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys, recessed lighting in your ceilings, attic hatches, and so on. Because hot air rises, air leaks are likely to occur in the attic. Locations in the attic most likely allowing leakage, are where the house walls meet the attic floor, behind and under attic knee walls, and in dropped ceiling areas. Seal any holes that are found, which will normally be found in areas where the insulation is darkened. Darkened insulation is normally the result of dusty interior air being filtered by insulation before leaking through small holes in the building envelope.

8 - Ensure that your skylights are double-paned. Single-paned skylights will probably not be cost efficient, and properly flashed skylights are imperative for stopping leaks.

9 - Keep the fireplace damper closed when fireplace is not in use, as an open damper when there is no fire, will allow your home's warm air to slip right up the chimney.

10 - Only use exhaust fans when necessary. Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans pull your warm air out of the home. Use them sparingly, and turn them off when you no longer need to use them.

Homeowners should pay special attention to these tips, because if they are followed, you should find that energy savings are more than worth the effort. If there are any questions, please don't hesitate to give BESTCHOICE a call at 540-898-8188, and we will be happy to help you in any way we can.

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