Headline: Easy ways to save energy—and moneyâ€”this winter
As temperatures begin to drop, heating bills across Reed will begin to rise. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical U.S. family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills. Unfortunately, a lot of that money is wasted when heat escapes through leaky windows or ducts, walls and ceilings without insulation, or by inefficient heating and cooling systems.
Luckily, there are many things North Reed neighborhood residents can do to prepare our homes for the cold months ahead. An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you moneyâ€”and in the long-term, energy upgrades increase the value of your home.
What can you do right now to help your home run more efficiently and feel more comfortable? Here are four easy energy-saving steps that are good for both pocketbooks and the environment.
- Take advantage of winter sun. The sun does come out in Portland in the winter. When it shines, be sure to open south-facing window curtains, drapes and blinds during the day, as sunlight can naturally heat your home. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
- Cover drafty windows. Tape a do-it-yourself, clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame. Installing window treatments, such as blinds, drapes or shades, can also help reduce heat loss.
- Adjust the temperature. Set the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler when youâ€™re not home to use less energy and lower utility bills. You can also lower the temperature slightly at night and add an extra blanket to the bed for a comfortably warm night.
- Get a free home energy assessment to remove the guesswork and pinpoint more energy saving opportunities. Clean Energy Works will send a certified contractor to your home to identify ways to make it more efficient. Get a customized report that includes which energy efficiency upgrades will help generate the most energy savings. Those savings may be worth an additional $2,000 in incentives, and Clean Energy Works also points you to the best financing options for the upgrades.Â Get started with your free energy assessment here: www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org/energy-assessment
Whether you take simple steps or use the whole-house approachâ€”making your home perform better will stretch your investment and comfort in your older home.
About Clean Energy Works
Clean Energy Works (CEW) is a non-profit, public-private partnership that accelerates total home performance across Oregon. The organization brings together local contractors, lenders, governments, and utilities to make it easy and affordable for Oregonians to improve the comfort and health of their homes, while lowering energy waste by a third or more. Learn more online: http://www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org