This Halloween, keep the chills down to a minimum and save energy and help protect the environment with ENERGY STAR. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program is here to help you make a difference in the fight against climate change while you save money on home energy bills. And, with winter and the end of daylight saving time quickly approaching, Halloween is the season when many of our energy-saving tricks come in handy to help deliver treats of ongoing money and environmental savings.
“Trick for Heat”
Check your heating system’s air filter every month, and change the filter every 3 months. Remove leaves, dirt, and other debris from around outdoor components, such as heat pumps, to improve air flow and efficiency. Have a qualified professional tune up your system with a pre-season maintenance checkup, and if it’s time to replace your old system, look for models that have earned the ENERGY STAR.
Protect Yourself from Vampires
“Vampire power,” or standby power, refers to the electric power consumed by electronics & appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode. ENERGY STAR qualified electronics and appliances use a lot less energy in standby mode. EPA also recommends that you turn off electronics when they are not in use, such as computers and televisions. Plugging all your electronics into a power strip makes this easy — just flip the switch to power everything down at once!
What’s Lurking in Your Attic?
Probably cold air. Seal air leaks around your home to keep the cold out and the warm air in. The biggest air leaks are usually in the attic or basement, but also around doors, windows, vents, pipes, and electrical outlets. Use caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping to seal the leaks. Add more insulation to prevent heat loss and make your home more comfortable this fall.
Don’t Be Left in the Dark
Now that daylight saving time is ending, remember to swap out those old incandescent lights with new, energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs that use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer. Also, start preparing for the holiday season with ENERGY STAR qualified decorative light strings, utilizing LED technology for extra savings, long-life, and durability — plus they’re just as pretty. You can even get orange ones for Halloween!
Don’t Waste Your Heat on Ghosts
By properly using your programmable thermostat you can ensure that you’re not unnecessarily heating the home when you’re away or asleep. Programming a lower temperature for when you go to work or run errands throughout the week and/or when you go to sleep at night can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs. Check out EPA’s fun Programmable Thermostat Tool to learn how easy it is to set for savings.
Reduce the Chill with a Ceiling Fan
By switching your ceiling fan to pull air upward versus push air downward, you’ll actually be helping circulate the warm air down into living spaces. This will make better use of your heating and allow you to lower the thermostat to save energy while maintaining your comfort.