Winter weather energy tips

Extreme winter conditions are forecasts for East Mississippi this week. With these extreme cold temperatures in the area, we’ll all see a rise in our power use, which translates into higher energy bills. But here are a few tips to help keep you warm while also managing your energy use wisely.

  • Run ceiling paddle fans on low, blowing up in winter.
  • Change HVAC filters monthly.
  • When installing new air filters, make sure they are facing in the correct direction. (Look for arrow on side of filter.)
  • When heating, keep windows locked.
  • Insulate electric wall plugs and wall switches with foam pads.
  • Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.
  • Close fireplace dampers when not burning a fire.
  • Caulk around plumbing penetrations that come through walls beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Caulk electrical wire penetrations at the tops of the interior walls.
  • Close shades and drapes at night to keep heat in during the winter.
  • Make sure drapes and shades are open during the day to catch free heat from the sun in the winter.
  • Ensure attic access door closes tightly.
  • Insulate attic access door.
  • Make sure insulation in your attic does not block soffit vents.
  • Ensure return air grilles are not blocked by furniture or bookcases.
  • Ensure windows and doors are properly weather-stripped.
  • Make sure outside soffit vents are not blocked.
  • Do not use roof-top power ventilators for attic exhaust as they may evacuate conditioned air from your home.
  • When using the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening damper in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly.
  • Caulk around basement windows.
  • In a basement, seal the sill and band joist with durable caulking or foam sealant.
  • Ensure floor registers are not blocked with rugs, drapes or furniture.
  • Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc.
  • Caulk around storm windows.
  • Use heavy-duty, clear sheets of plastic on the inside of window to reduce the amount of cold air entering your home.
  • Verify your supply air duct “boots” (behind supply air registers) are caulked to your ceiling or wall sheetrock or flooring.
  • Verify all outdoor doors (including storm doors) close and seal tightly.
  • In two-story homes serviced by one HVAC system, a paddle fan at the top of the stairs can push down hot, second-floor air.
  • Keep your garage door down. A warmer garage in the winter will save energy.
  • Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just ONE hour, these fans can pull out a house full of warmed air.
  • Install 15 minute, spring-wound timers on bathroom ventilator fans.

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