Frosty weather has arrived in Texas. Although it's rare to see extremely low temperatures in much of our state, the cold weather still has an impact on your energy bill. Across Texas, heating accounts for 22 percent of a household's energy consumption, on average. And, due to rising fuel prices, most households in the United States can expect higher heating costs this winter.
Luckily, there are simple ways to save energy. Whenever you conserve energy, you not only save money, you help keep the air clean. Energy is produced using fuels such as oil, coal and gas that can impact air quality. Through simple measures, Texans can lower their energy consumption, reducing the need for energy production and consequently decreasing emissions. So, what can Texans do to save energy and keep the air clean?
Check out the energy saving tips and infographic below and share them with your readers. As temperatures continue to drop, you and your neighbors can get that warm feeling of knowing you're doing something good for the environment—and your wallets.
1. Maintain your heating system to help it operate efficiently. Schedule service for it and change the air filter as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter slows air, making the system work harder, which wastes energy.
2. Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
3. About 30 percent of a home's heating energy is lost through windows. Window coverings, such as tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades, can reduce energy loss and improve home comfort. You can also use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold months.
4. Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day, allowing sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
5. Adjust your thermostat. To reduce energy use, set the temperature to 68 degrees or lower in the winter. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
6. During the winter, reverse your ceiling fan to force the warm air near the ceiling down into the room; the blades should be set on a low speed and spin in a clockwise direction.
7. Weatherize your home to save up to 10 percent on your energy bill. Seal air gaps around windows, doors, pipes, chimneys, recessed lights, and unfinished spaces. Make sure your home is insulated properly.
8. Keeping your fireplace damper open is like keeping a window open, so close the damper unless a fire is burning. If you never use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. Check the seal on the damper and make it as snug as possible. Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.
Looking for more infographics to share on your social media channels or in your newsletter? Check out the Take Care of Texas website, which has lots of infographics on topics that will help your communities save water and energy, reduce waste and keep the air and water clean.
Blog Post Contributed By Take Care of Texas.