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Energy savings for every season W


By Anne Prince, NRECA


hile saving money through greater energy eĸ ciency may be a year-round objecƟ ve for many consumers,


the way to achieve this goal will vary by season. There are a number of factors that impact energy eĸ ciency, including weather, the age and condiƟ on of the home, and desired comfort levels. During fall and winter months, when the outdoor temperature is chilly, consumers desire a warm home and seek to keep the cold air out. Conversely, in the spring and summer, the focus is on keeping the hot air from in⇒ ltraƟ ng cool abodes.


Fall and winter: keeping heat in To maintain a warm indoor environment in chillier weather, there are simple steps you can take to increase energy eĸ ciency. Fall is a great Ɵ me to examine seals on doors and windows to check for air leaks. Caulk and weatherstrip as needed to seal in warm air and energy savings. Similarly, examine outlets for air leaks, and where necessary, install gaskets around the outlet to prevent draŌ s. During the day, open curtains or drapes on south-facing windows to enable sunlight to heat your home naturally. Close curtains or drapes at night for an added layer of window insulaƟ on.


As the temperature drops lower with the onset of winter, schedule a service appointment for your heaƟ ng system to ensure it is operaƟ ng at an opƟ mal level. Low-cost or no-cost steps for energy savings include taping or aĸ xing heavy, clear plasƟ c to the inside of your window frames to create an addiƟ onal barrier against cold air. Ensure that the plasƟ c is Ɵ ghtly sealed to the frame to help reduce in⇒ ltraƟ on. Use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature as low as is comfortable when you are home (ideally around 68 degrees). When you are asleep or away, turn the temperature down 10-15 degrees for eight hours. According to the Department of Energy, this small adjustment can help you save approximately 10 percent a year on heaƟ ng and cooling costs.


Spring and summer: keeping your cool During warmer months, energy savings and eĸ ciency will require diī erent measures, many of which are inexpensive. If you live in a climate that is cool, open your windows in the evening and turn oī your cooling system while sleeping. In the morning, shut the windows and blinds to hold in the cool air. Where pracƟ cal, plant trees and shrubs that provide shade in warm months and sunlight in winter. In addiƟ on to the aestheƟ c value, well placed trees can take heat gain from the sun and provide needed shade by creaƟ ng a canopy for the house.


In extremely hot weather, your cooling system works harder to close the gap between the high outdoor temperature and the cool indoor thermostat seƫ ng. To lessen the diī erence in temperature between the two, and to lower cooling costs, set the thermostat as high as you can while maintaining your comfort level. Moreover, using a ceiling fan in conjuncƟ on with your air condiƟ oning can allow you to increase the thermostat seƫ ng to approximately four degrees with no reducƟ on in comfort levels.


During the hoƩ est months, it’s all the more criƟ cal to replace any remaining incandescent bulbs with LEDs. The waste heat from the old bulbs impacts energy use and creates wasteful and unwanted heat. Employ a programmable thermostat to adjust the seƫ ngs a few degrees higher when no one is home or your family is sleeping.


To learn more about addiƟ onal energy-saving Ɵ ps and programs, contact Northeast Oklahoma Electric CooperaƟ ve at 800-256-6405.


10 - NE Connection


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