Fall Efficiency Tips

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The leaves are changing colors and pumpkin spice season is in full swing. We all know about spring cleaning, but many of us get lost in the fall frenzy and forget to take steps to ensure our homes and businesses are operating as efficiently as possible. Window and door drafts or poorly functioning heating systems can not only make you uncomfortable and cold, but the costs of heating an inefficient building can really add up! Our fall efficiency tips will help you get ready for cold weather and save money all winter long.

For Businesses/Residences

  • Service your HVAC units. Fall is the perfect time to make sure your heating system is operating properly. Replace your air filters to limit allergens like dust, and make sure that your unit is working as efficiently as possible. If you need to repair or upgrade your HVAC system, it’s best to get it out of the way before it’s an emergency and too cold outside for comfort.
  • Check your window seals and weather stripping on doors.  That chilly air can find all kinds of ways into your home. Before it gets too cold, check your windows and doors for gaps and open areas that could let heat out. Use weather-stripping and caulk, see a DIY guide here.
  • Manage your thermostat. During the summer months, we recommend setting your thermostat at 78 degrees so your system doesn’t have to work too hard to bring the temperature down. As we move into fall, we recommend reflecting the same idea with your heat by keeping your thermostat set at 68 degrees (or lower). Consider getting a smart thermostat to make setting temperatures and scheduling easier. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if there are any programs available to get a rebate or discounted option!
  • Let the sun heat up your rooms. Use curtains to your advantage. During the day, opening the curtains to let in sunlight from south-facing windows will help warm the room without using any extra energy. In the afternoon, close the curtains to hold in heat and keep the chill-out.
  • Reverse ceiling fans. We think of ceiling fans as a tool to cool us down, but they can also work to keep us warm. When you set the direction of the fan to turn clockwise, it pushes the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room. It also helps to redistribute air so the air coming out of the vents reaches all parts of the room rather than having warmer and cooler pockets of air in different areas.

For Residences

  • Assess your fireplace. Your fireplace is a large, but sometimes not obvious, pathway for air to escape. The damper should stay closed unless a fire is burning so that warm air from your heating system doesn’t escape through the chimney. Check the seal to make sure the damper is as snug as possible. Tempered glass doors and an air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room will also help keep the heat where you want it – inside your home.
  • Do your holiday baking when it gets chilly! The house usually heats up a couple of degrees when you have the oven going, so make use of that. If you’re using electric appliances, try to avoid peak hours (typically 4-9 pm).