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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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Simple Tips to Save Energy Through the Cincinnati Winter

filed under: Informational posted on October 24th, 2016

Snow covered roadsSimple Tips to Save Energy Through the Cincinnati Winter

While we tend to get less snow than our friends to the north, Cincinnati is still bitterly cold during the winter. With average temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s and wind chill reaching down to the low teens, your furnace will have to work much harder to pump out warm air. Unfortunately, this can lead to very high energy costs compared to the other months of the year. Duke Energy does free home energy audits that let you know where your problem areas are. But in the meantime, here are a few easy tips that I have used to lower my energy bill:

● Shrink wrap your windows

If you have an older home or drafty windows, one way to increase the insulating power is to shrink wrap your windows. All it takes is a hair dryer, some shrink wrap and some double sided tape to make a good seal. There are plenty of companies that sell kits that make this an easy but noticeable change on your monthly bill.

● Change to Energy Efficient Light bulbs

Changing your light bulbs to more energy efficient models are another easy change that can save you money every month. The average US home has 45 lightbulbs. Replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs with CFL’s can save homeowners up to $180 per year. Duke energy has a free LED program for Ohio that you can sign up for here.

● Reduce Water Heater temp

Typically, water heater thermostats are set to 140 F when installed. By lowering your water heater temperature by 10 degrees to 130 F, you not only see savings on your bill but it can slow mineral buildup and corrosion increasing the life of your water heater. On top of turning your water heater temp down, if you can use an ENERGY STAR qualified water heater you will see much more savings on your energy bill.

infographic about water heaters

● Change Furnace Filter
As winter approaches, another thing you should consider is changing out your HVAC unit’s filter. When these filters get clogged it forces your HVAC unit to work much harder to do the same job it would if it was cleaner. That can cost you a lot of money annually and is an easy thing to keep up on. Most air filters can be bought at your local hardware store, but be sure to check the dimensions of your clogged filter to ensure you get the right one!

● Weather Strip Your Doors
Got a door that lets cold air in like crazy? Weather stripping your door creates a better seal and keeps that precious warm air in. By creating a better seal for your home, your furnace won’t have to work as hard to heat your home meaning noticeable energy bill savings each month.

I mentioned that Duke Energy provides free home audits earlier but if you don’t want the hassle of waiting for someone to come out, energy.gov has a great resource that walks you through an energy audit that you can do yourself.

There are thousands of ways to get your energy costs down but these are the ones that I have found to be the quickest, and easiest ways to save. Having an energy efficient home saves you money year over year and has the added value of being easier on the environment. It’s a win win situation!

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