Winter Savings Tips
Try these simple tips to trim winter energy bills. You can save even more all year round with our rebates for energy-efficient appliances and upgrades.
- Don’t position heat-producing devices such as lamps and TV sets beneath a wall-mounted thermostat for a central cooling system. Heat rising from the equipment could cause the thermostat to read a temperature higher than the true room temperature and lead to overcooling.
- If you’re buying a new heating system, consider a high-efficiency electric air source or ground source heat pump. The energy efficiency is rated according to a federal standard called the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. Heat pumps with an HSPF of 10 are almost three times more efficient than the most efficient natural gas furnaces. The minimum efficiency for typical split system air source heat pumps is 8.2 HSPF.
- In the heating season, water vapors from bathing and cooking are beneficial because they help humidify the home. So, use kitchen and bath exhaust fans sparingly in the winter to keep as much heat as possible inside your house.
- When entertaining a large group of people during the heating season, lower the thermostat a degree or two before the guests arrive. Otherwise, since people generate heat, the space may become wastefully overheated.
- Consider replacing your refrigerator or freezer BEFORE it breaks down. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when shopping for refrigerators or freezers. On average, ENERGY STAR® refrigerators use about 9 percent less energy than units meeting the minimum federal standard.
- On older units, vacuum clean the condenser coils of refrigerators and freezers (in the back or at the bottom of cabinets) every three months or so. Dust-covered coils impair the efficiency of compressor operation and increase energy usage.
- If you really need a second refrigerator, NEVER put a second refrigerator in the garage. In the winter months, frozen foods may melt (as the temperature sensor in the refrigerator will not activate the compressor if the temperature in the garage is 42°F or lower). In the summer months, the temperature in the garage can easily exceed 100°F, and the refrigerator has to work extra hard to keep food cold. The best place for the refrigerator, if you need it, would be the basement.
- Allow hot foods or liquids to cool off before placing them in the refrigerator. The cooling-off period should not hurt the taste of the food and will reduce the load on the refrigerator.
- Discard any uncooked food that has remained at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Plan ahead and remove all ingredients for each meal at one time. Each time the door of a refrigerator or freezer is opened, its compressor has to run a bit longer to replace the cold air that spills out.
- Instead of using a 190-watt halogen torchiere (floor lamp) to light up a room, consider a compact fluorescent or LED torchiere that will produce as much light, and use less than 70 watts.
- Note: Federal law mandates that the maximum power use of torchiere (floor lamp) light fixtures can be no more than 190 watts. If you purchase a torchiere (floor lamp), make sure that your fixture meets this requirement.
- When possible, place floor, table, and hanging lamps in the corner of a room rather than against a flat wall. Lamps in corners reflect light from two wall surfaces instead of one and, therefore, give more usable light.
- If you are on vacation and have a timer on a lamp for security reasons, use a compact fluorescent or LED bulb to save energy. Make sure the timer is compatible with the bulb.
*Source: More than 100 ways to improve your electric bill. Edison Electric Institute (EEI), January 2018