The Unfiltered Blog

October 4, 2017

Colder days are coming — now is the time to prepare

By Chuck Gassmann, President

5 tips for making your home more energy efficient this winter

The dog days of summer are finally in the rearview mirror. Even though the temperature is falling, your home and furnace will still be called upon to work hard in the coming months. October is National Energy Awareness Month, and now is a good time to consider what projects you can do to help improve the energy efficiency of your home.

These 5 useful tips and recommendations will help you save energy and lower your utility bills during the winter months – and all year long.

1. Conducting an energy audit is a great way to increase energy efficiency in your home. An audit will help identify areas that could be causing energy loss and provide actionable steps you can take to increase efficiency. You may qualify for a free energy assessment on your home through MidAmerican Energy that includes heating and cooling systems, water heating equipment and building construction and tightness. You can also perform your own energy audit at home. Performing an energy audit and then taking the steps to increase efficiency in your home could save you up to 30 percent on utility bills.

2. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your furnace filter, go change it. A clean filter is imperative to an efficiently functioning heating and cooling system. Normal dust build-up can reduce airflow by 1 percent per week, causing your system to work harder and use more energy.

3. Did you know that heating your home accounts for 45 percent of your monthly energy bill? As the temperatures drop, fight the temptation to turn up the heat in your home. The recommended temperature setting during the winter is 68 to 72 degrees. For every 1 degree colder, you can save up to 1 percent on heating costs. 


4. It’s important to have your local HVAC professional perform preventative maintenance at least once a year to maintain your system. Routine maintenance increases the life of the system, improves energy efficiency and indoor air quality. 


5. Take the steps to weatherize your home. Replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows to stop cold air from leaking into your home. You can also insulate your attic. While this is the largest up-front cost on the list, insulation can pay for itself in as little as one year with savings of up to 30 percent on your monthly utility bill. MidAmerican Energy also offers insulation rebates to qualified homeowners.

As you begin to look toward fall and winter, Bell Brothers is ready to help you assess your HVAC system and find opportunities for improvement. With the right preparation, you can optimize your home’s energy efficiency, indoor comfort and system performance all year long.