N.Y. (WETM) – With winter conditions quickly approaching, it’s time to begin adjusting to the colder temperatures. The New York State’s Division of Consumer Protection has provided tips for those in New York to save on energy costs this season.
With temperatures beginning to drop, people will be spending more time indoors and utilizing heat sources to keep warm, which will inevitably increase energy bills through the winter season. To help you save money this winter, The New York State’s Division of Consumer Protection Utility Intervention Unit has provided the following tips to help you save energy in your home:
- Check your thermostat. Each degree that you lower your thermostat can cut your fuel consumption by approximately 3%.
- Weatherize and insulate your home. Help retain heat in your home by insulating your attic and outside walls, sealing and insulating heating ducts, removing air conditioners and sealing any cracks around walls and windows.
- Get your heating system tested and tuned. Conduct annual checkups to help ensure the efficiency of your system. Make sure to replace your furnace filters at least every three months to keep your equipment running efficiently and once a month during heavy use months.
- Use ceiling or floor fans. Avoid heating or cooling the entire house when only using one or two rooms by using ceiling or portable floor fans in those rooms only. Shut off the heat and close vents in unused areas.
- Use radiators effectively. Move rugs and furniture away from heating vents and radiators, as blocked vents can disrupt air circulation and cause an imbalance in a home’s heating system. Placing heat-resistant reflector panels between radiators and walls can help heat the room instead of the wall.
- Contact your heat provider. Ask your home heating provider if they have any available bill assistance programs, pricing plans or other opportunities to manage your bill better.
- Improve your water heater’s efficiency. Wrapping your water heater in insulation, lowering water temperatures, insulating hot water pipes and limiting hot water use can decrease your energy bill.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label are designed to use at least 20% less energy and can save you money on your energy bills.
- Use appliances wisely. Conserve energy with larger appliances by setting your refrigerator no lower than 38-40 degrees. Load your washing machine to full capacity to minimize energy use and save water and detergent. Using your dishwasher is more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand, it also saves more than 8,000 gallons of water each year.
- Dry clothes efficiently. When using a clothes dryer, avoid overfilling it to avoid longer drying cycles. Clean the lint trap in your dryer before every load to ensure proper air circulation and increase the efficiency of your dryer.
- Switch to modern light bulbs. Replace conventional light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulb options. Energy-efficient lighting uses less energy and lasts longer.
- Shut down your computer. When you shut down your computer, don’t forget to turn off the monitor, as it can use twice as much energy as the computer. Use an advanced power strip for convenience so that all computer accessories can be turned off with one switch.
- Use rechargeable batteries and charging units. Rechargeable batteries are more cost-effective in the long term. Plug your battery charging system or power adapter into a power strip to enable you to shut off power with the flick of a switch. For even more savings, use a power strip with a timer or a programmable power strip.
- Disconnect digital media players. Turn off DVD and Blu-ray players, audio players and video game consoles when not in use to avoid wasting energy. To save energy and time, plug entertainment products into an advanced power strip to centrally turn off all components at once.
- Stream your content smartly. Streaming through a game console uses up to 10 times as much energy as streaming on a laptop or tablet. Consider using another kind of device to stream, such as a Blu-ray player, set-top box or Smart TV that has earned an ENERGY STAR® label.
In addition to following these tips, New York also has heating assistance programs available to help those who meet certain qualifications. For more information on New York State home heating assistance and energy assistance programs, visit the NYSERDA website.