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Winter Readiness Tips: Part Two

January 22, 2015

For the second Winter Readiness installment, we interviewed a few of our energy efficiency experts to get their advice on ways to manage your electricity usage and costs in the winter. Here are some of the highlights.

TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Heating System

  • Have a certified heating system contractor check your furnace or other heating system to ensure that it is working efficiently.
  • Replace furnace filters once a month or as needed. Dirty filters will slow air flow and make your furnace work harder to keep your home warm.
  • Install a programmable thermostat so you can automatically adjust your usage to the typical winter pricing pattern .
  • While home, keep the thermostat around 68° to maintain the best balance between comfort and energy savings.

Humidity and Air Circulation

  • Moist air at a lower temperature feels warmer and more comfortable than dry air at a higher temperature. So, if you have humidifiers, make sure they are in proper working order. If you don’t have a humidifier, consider purchasing one. (30 percent to 50 percent average relative humidity is recommended when the temperature is 20°F or above.)
  • Use ceiling fans to mix the rising warm air with the lower, cool air.

Doors and Windows

  • Take advantage of warmth from the sun’s rays by opening the curtains on south-facing windows during the day. Close curtains at night to keep the warmth inside.
  • Reduce drafts around doors and windows with weather stripping, window insulator kits, or draft stoppers.

Other Tips

  • Be sure to close the fireplace damper when not in use. And if you don’t plan to use your fireplace at all this winter, consider installing a chimney balloon.
  • Save those leftovers! A full fridge works more efficiently than an emptier one.

For more tips on managing your energy use, plus rebates and discounts on energy-saving projects and products, check out the Ameren Illinois Act on Energy website.

You’ve heard from us…. We want to hear from you! How do you keep your home cozy and warm in the winter? Let’s help each other out this winter and share our ideas. Post your tips to the Power Smart Pricing Facebook page, email us at info@PowerSmartPricing.org, or call us at 888-655-6028. Then be sure to tune into our third Winter Readiness installment to learn from your fellow participants!