We've been hearing rumors that this winter will be another tough one, and that Wisconsin's fund for folks needing help paying for heat is lower this year than last.
While you have a couple days off (if you are one of the lucky ones with days off), you might spend a little while doing some of these easy and inexpensive steps to lower your energy bill for this winter.
Lower Your Energy Costs:
- Stick bubble wrap to your windows. If you spray a little water on a window, and cover that window with a piece of bubble wrap the same size as the window pane, you'll dramatically change the amount of heat that window lets out. You still get plenty of light in, though this isn't a great solution for the windows you need to see out of. Step by step directions are here.
- Check your furnace filter each month, if you have access to the furnace. Most furnace filters are supposed to be changed or checked each month, and the dirtier the filter is, the more energy it uses to make the same amount of heat. So, cut down on your costs by making sure the filter is clean. Some tips on cleaning the filter are here.
- Make sure your heat isn't blowing into furniture or curtains. You want the heat blowing into the space that the people use, not getting absorbed and then lost by furniture and drapes.
- Leave your curtains open during the day, and close them during the night. This allows the day sun to help heat the home, and traps the heat inside during the night.
Water heating is the second largest single energy user in most homes. To conserve your hot water, you might try:
- Set water heater temperature at 120°F.
- Conserve hot water.
- Install a low-flow showerhead.
- Tell the owner about dripping faucets or water heater leaks.
We took some of this info from MG&E's website - click on through for more suggestions. (For example, did you know that MG&E has stocked Madison libraries with energy meters, so you can figure out how much energy each appliance uses? It's true. )