Prepare for Winter Storms with Energy Efficiency
Winter storm, Elliott, is expected to bring cold weather and freezing temperatures for many in the south and throughout the east coast. With heating costs making up approximately 29% of customers' utility bills, it’s a reminder that energy efficiency is important year-round and vital during times like this.
There are steps you can take to save energy to keep your home comfortable and your bills low as the cold temperatures move in. Here’s some easy energy efficiency tips you can implement to help navigate the storm this week:
Check and seal air leaks
Energy.gov is a fantastic resource for instructions on finding air leaks in your home. Their recommendation includes conducting a visual inspection outside of your home of all exterior corners, outdoor faucets, siding and chimney joints, and areas where the foundation and brick or siding meet.
Once the leaks have been located, caulk or weatherstrip around the source of any location where air may be seeping into or out of the home. This is a very easy do-it-yourself fix but as always, when in doubt you should contact a licensed professional.
Set Your Thermostat
Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during frigid weather. This is a comfortable and safe room temperature while awake and can save you up to 10% on your energy costs. It’s also a good time to dress in layers to stay warm or snuggle under your favorite blanket.
Save hot water
Set your hot water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees, or the medium setting. Wrap electric water heaters with water heater blankets, which can be found at home improvement stores.
Keep doors and windows closed
Not only does constant traffic let out warm air, but leaving doors open to empty rooms also puts more pressure on your heater to keep your home at a set temperature. The less you heat up empty rooms in your home, the more efficiently you can heat the spaces you use most.
Make sure fans are turning the right way
Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This will keep cool air from blowing down on you and help the warm air that rises circulate around the room.
Replace air filters
Dirty filters make your heating system work harder to heat your home. The harder your system works, the more energy it uses, creating higher bills and less efficiency. Be sure to look at the manufacturer’s instructions and replace accordingly.
Take advantage of the sun
The sun is our most abundant natural source of heat, so take advantage of it! Draw back your blinds and open your curtains to let in the warm sunlight during the day. However, don’t forget to close them at night to reduce heat loss.
Bonus Winter Storm Prep Tips
- Fill up your food pantry.
- Stock up on bottled water.
- Make sure you have all the proper necessities (i.e. hygiene supplies, prescriptions, etc.)
- Build an emergency kit.
- Have an emergency communication plan with family & friends in place.
- Cover your water pipes.
- Prepare for a power blackout with battery powered flashlights and portable cellphone chargers.
- If you have to drive, prepare your car.
- Buy ice melt salt and ensure you have any necessary tools for the incoming weather.
- Stay informed.
While these tips are helpful, it is important to first and foremost keep up-to-date on weather conditions and to follow the guidance of your local officials during dangerous weather conditions. Check out our Winter Weather Safety Advice as well for more information.
PosiGen would also like to assure you that panels are made to withstand winter weather conditions. Panels will continue to produce power even if it's cold. Please reach out should you have questions, 1-888-939-4442.