October is a great time to think about energy awareness. The weather is beginning to get chilly, the lights are on a bit more and the days are still long enough to get some projects done before the short winter days set in.
We not only celebrate Halloween this month, but National Energy Awareness Month and, on Oct. 6, Energy Efficiency Day, an annual celebration of all the benefits of conservation like saving money and reducing carbon.
It’s also a great time to look at the indoors and outdoors of your home and create a checklist of tasks to make sure its operating as efficiently as possible. The PUD has been a conservation leader for more than 40 years, and as our communities grow, it’s more important than ever to save energy.
Here are some home maintenance tasks you can do right now to save energy and money:
Make sure your heating system is in tune. Your furnace is the engine of your home’s heating system. If you have an electric furnace, now is the time to schedule a tune-up. It’s important to have a professional clean and inspect your furnace every five years, and October is the perfect time to have it done before heating season begins in earnest. You’ll save energy and extend the life of your furnace.
It’s also important to check the air filters of your electric furnace every month. By replacing dirty filters, you’ll improve air quality, as well as save energy. Tip: Purchase multi-packs of filters and set a reminder in your phone to ensure you can regularly replace filters over the entire heating season.
Keep cold air out. Ensuring the weather-stripping is still good on doors and windows can significantly reduce heat loss and drafts. Damaged weather-stripping can allow cold air in and make your furnace work harder, driving energy costs up.
Replacing the weather-stripping on your windows and doors is an easy do-it-yourself project that you can do with supplies from your local hardware store. Your best bet is to go with metal, vinyl or silicon weather-stripping.
Tighten up your ducts. Poorly sealed and uninsulated ducts in unconditioned space can lose 15% to 30% of your heated air before it even gets to the register. Sealing your ductwork prevents conditioned air from escaping. Sealing your ducts is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space.
Keep the warm air flowing. Make sure your vents and baseboards are unblocked to deliver the air to your rooms. Check to be sure no furniture or curtains are in front of your baseboard heaters or register vents and blocking the heat they’re trying to deliver. Also vacuum the heater coils or clean the registers to make sure all your heat is getting to your rooms.
For more heating tips, visit snopud.com/heating.
Operating since 1949, Snohomish County PUD is a customer-owned, not-for-profit electric and water utility that serves more than 360,000 customers in Snohomish County and Camano Island. For more information on conservation programs, visit www.snopud.com.