Yup, winter is officially here, though in Oregon, it feels as if winter has been here for months! Sometimes, keeping the cold wet Oregon air out and warm air in can be a challenge.
If you have not already done so, this is the time to do a small audit in your apartment or rental home to make sure your space has been “winterized”. A surprising amount of wasted energy and costs can be reduced by simply following some basic tips.
These tips will show you how to be more energy efficient and save energy, money, and will go a long way to improving the environment.
1. Close your storm windows.
This is hands down the simplest yet most overlooked way to keep the cold air out. Simply raise your screen windows and lower your storm windows for the extra layer of protection from winter.
2. Open your curtains during the day.
If your windows are facing the sun, let the sunshine in and turn on nature’s heater!
3. Keep doors closed.
If you have a large closet or any other rooms that aren’t heated (and don’t need to be), keep the doors closed to minimize the space requiring heating. This also eliminates the need to insulate these small spaces.
4. Look for any gaps at bottom of your doors.
You can lose a lot of heat at the bottom of your doors, especially ones with large gaps. You can buy a plastic “door sweep” that runs along the bottom of the door to seal it. You can also use a towel across the bottom of the door is a nice quick fix.
5. Insulate outlets & switches.
Electrical outlets can let a surprising amount of cold air in. You can stock up on little foam outlet gaskets to keep electrical outlets sealed and remove the covers whenever you like and take them with you when you move out.
6. Check your heating system.
Any heating system it should be checked out annually to make sure it is running safely and optimally. Check with us to see if there’s anything you need to do for the system to run properly such as changing your air filter at least every three months.
7. Use an at-home window insulation kit.
Consider investing in an at-home window insulation kit, available at your local hardware store. Such kits allow you to cover windows with clear, plastic layers that you can remove when you move out.
8. Install curtains.
You might be surprised to know that attractive drapes will both brighten your space and add a warm layer between you and the dreary weather outside.
9. Make sure your heat sources aren’t blocked.
This may seem obvious, but make sure your furniture is not blocking any vents or radiators! This can have a big impact on how efficiently your home or apartment is heated.
10. Use the ceiling fan (if you have them).
If you think ceiling fans are just for cooling, think again. If you run fans in reverse, they’ll push warm air downward, to where you can enjoy it.
For more tips to learn how to save energy and cut costs, visit www.energystar.gov.