Don’t let the cold snap sap your household budget
Energy Trust advice can help keep your house warm and energy bills lower
PORTLAND, Ore. — February 20, 2018 — Temperatures are set to plummet in the coming days and Energy Trust of Oregon has advice on how people can keep their homes warm and comfortable while managing their energy costs.
“Many people don’t realize it, but they could be wasting up to 60 percent of the energy they use to heat their homes due to inefficient equipment, poor insulation and air leaks,” said Katie Wallace, residential spokesperson, Energy Trust.
The heating system is the single biggest energy expense in most homes, and there are many easy, low-cost steps that can help keep that expense under control:
- Use a smart thermostat to manage heating costs. It makes sense to keep your home toasty when everyone is awake, but at night or when no one is home, save on energy costs by lowering the thermostat setting. A smart thermostat can help make these kinds of energy-saving changes automatically. Cash incentives are available for qualifying smart thermostats, including popular products from Nest or ecobee. Energy Trust recommends keeping the thermostat at 65-68 degrees when you’re home and 58-60 degrees at night or when you’re away.
- Check air filters once a month during the coldest months in fall and winter when your heating system is working at its hardest. If the filter looks dirty, change it. A dirty filter will slow airflow and make the heating system work harder and waste energy. Change the filter every three months during spring and summer if you are running your heating system.
- Seal air and duct leaks and add insulation to increase comfort and save on heating costs. “The small gaps, cracks and leaks in a typical home can add up to the same loss of energy and comfort as leaving a window open year-round,” said Wallace. Use caulk or spray foam to seal small holes and cracks, and use weatherstripping and door sweeps to seal drafty windows and doors.
Whenever the temperature plunges, these simple steps can help Oregonians save money.
To find more ways to lower your energy use and costs even further, complete a Home Energy Review online or by phone to get free advice and customized recommendations. A Home Energy Review can easily be completed in less than 10 minutes and provides information on available cash incentives and local Energy Trust trade ally contractors who can install energy-saving projects. To get a Home Energy Review, visit www.energytrust.org/start or call 1-866-368-7878.
Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista save $2.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.