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Cold Weather Blues

From the Northeast to the deep south, a good chunk of the country has experienced record-breaking low temperatures, snow and ice over the past several days. If the cold temps have you wondering how you can keep warm without breaking the bank this winter, you are not alone. The good news is that ENERGY STAR has you covered, with products and easy-to-implement practices that will keep your home comfortable and your wallet intact all season long. Check out the top 3 ways to save energy, money and the planet and get started today!

Get an ENERGY STAR Certified Smart Thermostat: One of the easiest ways to save energy and money is by closely monitoring your thermostat. And the easiest way to do that is with an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat.

Did you know?

  • Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to deliver reliable performance and energy savings.
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats provide convenience, insight and control.  While system designs vary, common smart thermostat features include:
    • Learning the temperature that you like and establishing a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away.
    • Providing home energy use data that you can track and manage.
    • Allowing you to control home heating and cooling remotely through your smartphone.
  • ENERGY STAR smart thermostats are third-party certified to:
    • Accurately measure temperature.
    • Quickly entering a low-power standby mode when inactive.
    • Track and report equipment use and temperature data to the homeowner.
    • Provide tailored functionality and service that delivers energy savings that make sense for the individual homeowner.

Learn more here.

Stay on Top of HVAC Maintenance: It can be easy to forget about your HVAC system when it is seemingly working properly, but regular maintenance can save you big on utility bills and comfort. A few tips:

  • Check your furnace’s air filter once a month, especially during the heavy-use months of winter. A dirty filter slows air flow, making the system work harder which wastes energy. If it’s dirty, clean or replace it. At a minimum, clean or replace it every three months.
  • Consider a yearly professional tune-up of your HVAC system.
  • If you need to replace your HVAC system, ask your contractor about ENERGY STAR certified units. And make sure that your new energy-efficient unit is properly installed for maximum savings.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified HVAC products here.

Seal and Insulate: A well-maintained HVAC system and a smart thermostat will only go so far if you don’t work to keep the cold out of your home. Simple sealing and insulating will go a long way to improving comfort and saving energy.

  • Sealing air leaks found around outer walls, windows, doors, etc. and adding insulation can save you up to 10% on your heating bills.
  • Simple fixes include installing weather stripping on doors and caulking around windows. Bigger jobs might include sealing leaks and adding insulation.

A good place to start is to check your attic insulation level. A good rule of thumb is that if the insulation level is just up to the top of the attic floor joists, you have less than half the recommended insulation levels for most locations in the U.S.

Learn how measuring and improving your attic insulation can help you “Rule Your Attic!” this winter here.