• U.S Dept of Energy

FALL AND WINTER ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

This article will help you find strategies to help you save energy during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

Also check out no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy during the spring and summer.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS
  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE
  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings. Also see ENERGY STAR's June 5, 2008, podcastfor video instructions on operating your programmable thermostat.

FIND AND SEAL LEAKS
  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Find out how to detect air leaks. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.

  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk. Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEMS
  • Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is requi