How to Save Energy in the Winter

Energy is required to power and operate our homes day in and day out. Water and heat are two resources that we depend on to live comfortably. It’s important to do your part and make changes for energy conservation in the home. Luckily, as plumbing experts we have extensive knowledge in how to save energy in the winter and what you can do to reduce monthly bills.

 

Water Saving Tips for Winter

You probably only give thought to water savings in the summer when it’s blistering hot outside making showers more frequent, laundry twice the load and sprinklers constantly circulating. However, it’s important to be mindful when it’s cold outside, too.  Here are a few tips to save water in the winter…

 

1. Winterize plumbing pipes

Instead of dripping your faucets when temperatures drop, be proactive and wrap your pipes before freezing temps arrive. Not only will this eliminate the slow leak caused by leaving the faucet to drip, it also prevents frozen pipes which can result in devastating damage and costly plumbing repairs. Another benefit of wrapping pipes? It keeps hot water hotter by using less energy to heat it.

Related: 10 Tips to Care for Your Pipes this Winter

2. Install a low-flow showerhead

Long, steaming showers are excellent when it’s cold outside, but if you’re using a traditional showerhead you’re likely wasting water and money. Consider upgrading to a low-flow showerhead. These models cut back on water without compromising water pressure or temperature, so they provide the same experience with less guilt. A bonus—saving hot water also saves the energy needed to heat it.

3. Perform water heater maintenance

Water heaters are consistently ranked the top energy consuming appliance in our homes, but there are ways to decrease your home’s consumption. Think about scheduling water heater maintenance to ensure proper operation and efficiency. If you’re nearing time for a water heater replacement, you can’t go wrong with a tankless water heater or an energy efficient gas or electric upgrade.  

 

Heat Saving Tips for Winter

You can’t discuss energy savings in the winter without talking about how to keep heat in and cold out. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to winterize your home which improves heat savings as well.

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1. Insulate windows and doors

While you’re winterizing pipes, why not do the same to windows and doors? These are the greatest risk areas for heat loss in the winter. Weatherstripping products, insulation tape and brush seals are great to winterize your home. Be sure to re-caulk the gaps that form around entry points for pipes, cables and lines to enter your home. This will keep out drafts and unwanted pests.

2. Inspect the fireplace

Fireplaces can be an excellent source of heat when used safely and correctly. However, even if they are equipped with the right parts and seals, when they’re not in use they are another major place for heat loss. When a fire is going you can lower your thermostat significantly, but when it’s not in use it’s important to seal the flue to prevent drafts.

3. Tune into your thermostat

Programmable thermostats are one of the easiest ways to save on heating costs. Program day temperatures around 65°-70° and lower it to about 60° overnight, or when the home is vacant for an extended period. Portable heaters offer great temporary relief in cold rooms. If you do use a space heater, make sure to follow all precautions and directions for safe use.

 

Related: 5 Fall Plumbing Winterizing & Maintenance Tips

 

Keep your home comfortable with a few helpful tips on saving energy this winter season. To learn more about water heater upgrades for greater efficiency and savings, or to schedule system plumbing maintenance or repair, contact Robinson’s Plumbing at 804-621-7056.