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Energy Efficiency Tips – How To Keep Your Home Warm This Winter While Cutting Costs

Property Management and Tenant Placement

Energy Efficiency Tips – How To Keep Your Home Warm This Winter While Cutting Costs

energy efficiency

Winter is around the corner in Portland, and like most cities across the United States everyone is thinking about energy efficiency because energy costs are increasing and it’s more important than ever before for people to control their costs by ensuring that their homes are energy efficient.

It doesn’t matter if you own rental properties in Portland, or if you’re renting, in this article we will share with you several tips that you can use to make your home energy efficient and ready for the winter months.

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How To Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Set the temperature: Each degree you lower the thermostat could save you roughly 3% on your bill. At night or when no one is home, set your thermostat to 58 to 60 degrees. When you’re home, keep the thermostat at 65 to 68 degrees.

A smart thermostat, like the popular Google Nest, can help you regulate the temperature based on your schedule.

When temperatures drop, don’t raise the thermostat higher than you normally would during more mild weather. Cranking up the thermostat will not warm up your home faster; it will cause the furnace to run longer.

Close gaps: Small holes and cracks in outside-facing walls and around windows and exterior doors allow inside air to escape. These air leaks even make insulation less effective.

Add caulk or weatherstripping around drafty doors and windows, and seal openings hidden in attics, basements and crawlspaces with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping.

When sealing gaps around chimneys or other heat-producing devices, make sure to use a non-combustible sealant.

If you’re not burning wood in the fireplace, close the damper. When using the fireplace, open the damper, close the room’s doors and lower the thermostat.

Here’s where you can read more about detecting air leaks for instructions on finding air leaks yourself, or learn more about selecting and applying caulk and weatherstripping.

Monitor ventilation: When making a home more airtight, be aware of the danger of indoor air pollution. Exhaust fans can pull gases from burning natural gas, fuel oil, propane or wood back into the living space, increasing indoor levels of carbon monoxide, according to the Department of Energy.

Burn marks, soot or smoke indicate poor draft, and should be evaluated by a utility company, energy professional or ventilation contractor.

Take advantage of the sun: Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime to let the sunshine heat your home. At night, close the window coverings to help keep the heat in.

Check air filters once a month: When an air filter becomes clogged by dirt and other particles, the heating system can’t produce enough airflow to function properly, causing it to work harder and decreasing overall efficiency.

Replace filters once every month or two, especially during periods of high usage or if your home has poor indoor air quality.

Also, vacuum registers and vents to make sure nothing is blocking the warm air from reaching you.

Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually or as recommended by the manufacturer. If the unit is more than 15 years old, consider investing in one of the newer, energy-efficient units.

Add insulation: Heat loss occurs through floors, ceilings and walls if your home insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum. For more information, has everything you could ever want to know about insulation.

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