10 foolproof ways to save money on your winter power bill

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It’s easy to make a few small changes at home to save energy and money. Whether you seal air leaks or replace furnace filters, you can see savings every month of the year. Here are ten simple things you can do to save money on your winter power bill:

  1. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees. 
    • Also, consider installing a smart thermostat; Thermwise® offers rebates for qualifying models. Learn more about your thermostat by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy web site.
  2. Keep air ducts clear from obstructions. 
    • Move furniture, drapes, and anything else blocking air ducts and cold-air returns. Blocked vents reduce airflow and stress your furnace.
  3. Seal air leaks. 
    • Seal all holes from pipes and wires that enter/exit the living space, including entrances, pull-downs and attic stair openings, light fixtures, pipes, and wires.
  4. Seal ductwork. 
    • Make sure that all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections with foil-backed tape or silicone caulking. If not properly sealed, supply ductwork can leak heated air into the attic or crawl space, and outside air can be drawn into the return ductwork, increasing costs and reducing comfort dramatically.
  5. Lower water heater to 120-125 degrees. 
    • Many water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 120 and 125 degrees will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.
  6. Change furnace and HVAC filters every month. 
    • This is the number one reason for furnace breakdowns. Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Have a professional check and clean furnaces once a year.
  7. Give your furnace some space. 
    • It will perform best when it has room to breathe.
  8. Weather-strip doors, windows, and attic entryways. 
    • Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window needs to be sealed with caulking or weather-stripping. Insulate attic entryways.
  9. Insulate water pipes. 
    • Insulate the first three to six feet of cold and hot water pipes near the water heater. Insulating hot water pipes located in a crawlspace or attic is not necessary.
  10. Add an insulation blanket to the water heater. 
    • Wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket can save heating costs by helping the hot water tank to retain heat when not in use. Inexpensive insulation kits are available at most home improvement stores.

By taking steps to weatherize your home, people save money. Plus, there are potential rebates via the ThermWise program. Energy-efficient appliances can significantly lower your consumption. The ThermWise program from Dominion Energy offers rebates for certain appliances like a tankless water heater. There’s also a new ThermWise rebate for the DualFuel Heating System. Ask your HVAC contractor if it will work in your home or get started with a Home Energy Plan at ThermWise.com.

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