Fall Energy-Saving Tips

With hot temperatures becoming a distant memory, or for some homeowners across the country, letting up just a bit, fall is a time to keep your home comfortable and prepare for cooler temperatures. Here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure the home’s insulation is up to par. Too little insulation, damaged insulation or worn out insulation will not keep heat out in the waning hot days of early fall, nor keep heat inside when temperatures start to drop. As winter gets into full swing, the danger of ice dams rises, too. You see, insulation stops inside heat from radiating through the roof. Without it, a warm roof melts snow and ice down the sides of the roof. There, it refreezes, creating ice dams that hang off the gutters, and letting water seep through the roof and back into the attic. As a result, insulation is just as important during winter as it is in summer.
  • Get your furnace winter-ready. It may be difficult to think about running the heat right now, but before you know it, you’ll want to combat colder weather by curling up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. Your furnace should be ready for action too, so schedule a tune-up in the fall.
  • Stock up on air filters. When you start running the furnace, be prepared to change the filter as it gets dirty.
  • Use ventilation. Cut down on energy costs and stay comfortable by using natural ventilation when possible. Open windows and doors on cooler days, and run fans and ceiling fans when possible.
  • Prep your ductwork. The performance of your furnace depends on a well-insulated home and tightly sealed ductwork. You see, if ductwork leaks, you can lose as much as 30 percent of the heat moving through them. Leaks not only compromises comfort, but they cost you more, as the furnace has to run longer to overcome the energy loss. Enlist a professional to assess their condition and seal the leaks.
  • Winterize your home. Seal air leaks around the home, checking areas like window and door frames, the attic, the basement, and utility wires and pipes that protrude through the home’s structure. The tighter your home, the better your insulation can work, and the more efficient your furnace will run. In fact, the average homeowner can save 30 percent on energy costs by sealing leaky areas around the home.