Save Money & Energy: Get Ready for the Fall!

Photo by wolfgangstaudt on Flickr
Photo by wolfgangstaudt on Flickr
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With Labor Day comes the fall! While leaving the warm weather and longer days behind isn’t the most exciting news, the fall has its own charm. It’s a wonderful time to take in the cooler temperatures and enjoy the beautiful changing landscapes. It can also be a great time to do some preparation in and around the home for the winter.

While chores aren’t the most exciting things to do in the cooler weather, they really pay off when it’s cold outside and your heating bill’s going up. The average American home spends almost $1000 on heating costs per year, so it’s worth spending a little bit of time to get your home ready for the fall and help cut those costs.

Plus, with a change of seasons comes the need for a change in clothing and accessories. By taking inventory of our winter suplies, we’ll know what we have instead of needing to run out to the store.

Grab your to-do list and make sure you’re doing everything you can to lower costs (and also help the environment).

Weatherproof Your Home

With the onset of colder weather comes the responsibilities of keeping the house warm. Sequentially, keeping the house warm also means using less energy, which is great for the environment and your wallet. Make sure to not skip out on these weatherproofing chores:

  1. Take out the air conditioners from the windows, they’ll leak cold air into your home. Be sure to properly store or dispose of your unit if you’re no longer going to keep it.
  2. Weatherstrip and caulk your doors and windows.
  3. Get new windows if you have older, cold-leaking ones.
  4. Check the vents: plumping, heating, and air conditioning vents/gaps and fill any of them that could be leaking cold-air.
  5. Check any insulation around your home and replace/add if necessary (especially in the attic).

Take a Look at Your Heater

The biggest energy cost for the fall/winter is your heater, so why not pay special attention to it in the beginning of the season and you could save a ton of money an energy.

  1. Check your heater: make sure its filter is clean and clean it regularly. Replace your heater for a more energy-efficient one if it has reached the end of its life.
  2. Adjust the thermostat and make sure you have a programmable thermostat that lets you set the temp lower automatically overnight or when you’re not at home.
  3. Keep all of the heating vents in your home free from furniture or any other obtrusive objects. By keeping the ducts clear, your house will be more evenly heated.

Put Things in Their Place

In with the new or out with the old… I mean bring in the old and put away the used. By putting things in their place, you’ll be ready for the first day you need your mittens.

  1. Make sure all of your appliances are properly stored (including your lawn mower). Taking care of your appliances will ensure a longer lifetime, which means less money spent and energy needed to produce new items when yours break.
  2. Bring up your winter clothes. By replacing your spring/summer clothes with your winter ones, not only will you not be rushing around to find that blue sweater you loved, but you’ll also not be tempted to buy something that you already have! If all of your winter clothes are back in the upstairs closets and drawers, you’ll be able to see what you already have instead of purchasing new ones.
  3. Have a yard sale. This time of year is great for yard sales — you won’t need to swelter under the hot sun all day, and people are much more likely to be out and about on a beautiful, crisp Saturday morning. Eco-benefit: other people may be able to reuse the stuff you’d otherwise throw out.

Anything Else?

What do you do every fall to get prepared for the winter? Any tips or advice for the rest of us? Let us know in the comments!

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