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Stay warm and save energy

Keep the cold winter air out with these efficiency tips

While saving money through greater energy efficiency may be a year-round objective for many consumers, the way to achieve this goal varies by season.

There are a number of factors that impact energy efficiency, including weather, the age and condition of a home, and desired comfort levels. During winter months, when the outdoor temperature is chilly, consumers desire a warm home and seek to keep the cold air out.

To maintain a warm indoor environment in chillier weather, there are simple steps you can take to increase energy efficiency. Examine seals on doors and windows to check for air leaks. Caulk and weatherstrip as needed to seal in warm air and energy savings. Similarly, examine outlets for air leaks, and where necessary, install gaskets around the outlet to prevent drafts. During the day, open curtains or drapes on south-facing windows to enable sunlight to heat your home naturally. Close curtains or drapes at night for an added layer of window insulation.

As the temperature drops lower with the onset of winter, schedule a service appointment for your heating system to ensure it is operating at an optimal level.

Low-cost or no-cost steps for energy savings include taping or affixing heavy, clear plastic to the inside of your window frames to create an additional barrier against cold air. Ensure that the plastic is tightly sealed to the frame to help reduce infiltration. Use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature as low as is comfortable when you are home (ideally around 68 degrees). When you are asleep or away for a few hours, turn the temperature down a few degrees. Find more tips at www.bremc.com/category/energy-efficiency/.