Utilize This Winter’s ‘Budget Saving Time’

When homeowners across the nation “fell back” for Daylight Saving Time (DST), many folks were already anticipating cranking up the heat to combat the longer, colder nights in many parts of the country. However, the experts at Window World firmly believe that the sun doesn’t have to set on lower energy bills.

To help consumers in colder climates take advantage of natural sunlight to keep energy costs in check, Window World has released its “Budget Saving Time” guide.

The guide sums up six easy ways homeowners can cut their energy bills:

Design with daylight. Anyone considering home improvements can maximize the sun’s limited presence by “daylighting”—using windows and skylights to bring sunlight into your home. Remember these points:
– South-facing windows allow most winter sunlight into the home.
– North-facing windows bring in relatively even amounts of natural light.
– East- and West-facing windows are bright sources of light during either the morning or afternoon, but they don’t contribute much to solar heating.

Energy-efficient lighting. Choose bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
– Consider using timers or dimmers that will save electricity by turning lights off automatically or offering lower light levels.
– Get into the habit of turning the lights off whenever you leave a room.

Save big with window coverings. Keep drapes open on South-facing windows by day and close them at night. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, when drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10 percent.

Double or triple treat your windows. Consider installing double- or triple-pane windows that have high-performance glass. The air, or in some cases gas, in between the window panes acts as extra insulation.

Look for leaks. Air leaks around windows, doors and pipes can be filled with caulk or special coverings. Additionally, ensure weatherstripping around windows and doors is in good condition and isn’t frayed or worn down.

Get programmable. Install programmable thermostats to keep temperatures from getting too hot or cold when you’re not at home.

Source: John Voket

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