How to save energy in the winter

Did you know that taking a few simple actions can help you save energy and money during the fall and winter months? Below you will find some helpful tips to help you save money and keep your pockets fuller:


1.Get an energy assessment.

If you haven’t done so already, have an energy assessment conducted to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long term energy savings.


2.Get warm from the sun.

Take full advantage of the heat from the sun. Open your curtains on the south facing windows during the day to allow the sunlight to naturally heat your home and close them at night to reduce the draft you may feel from cold windows.


3.Cover drafty windows.

Use a heavy duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape a clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Also install tight fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after the weatherizing is done.


4.Adjust the temperature.

When you are home and awake be sure to set your thermostat as low as is comfortable, but when you are asleep or out of the house if you turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours you could save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills! A programmable thermostat can make it easy to remember set back your temperature.


5.Seal leaks.

Find and seal the air leaks around cut throughs for pipes, gaps around your chimney, recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. You can also add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around drafty doors and windows.


6.Maintain your heating system.

Schedule a maintenance service for your heating system and be sure to understand what is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently. If you have a furnace replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. If you have a wood burning heater clean the flue vent regularly as well as clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically.


7.Reduce heat loss from your fireplace.

Keep your fireplace damper closed at all times unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window open during the winter allowing warm air to go right up the chimney. When you do use the fireplace you can reduce heat loss by opening the dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly (1 inch) and close the doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.


8.Lower your water heating costs.

Did you know that water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home? If you turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You will not only save energy, but you will also avoid burning your hands.


9.Invest is proper insulation.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year because of improper insulation. If cost is a concern start with foam weather stripping for your windows and doors. It’s inexpensive and fairly easy to apply.


10.Beware of holiday lighting costs.

Be sure to use LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays. They also have brands that are ENERGY STAR® qualified as well.

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains