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Fall into Fall Energy Savings

2013 September 23

Fall leaves

By: Brittney Gordon-Williams

It’s hard to believe but summer has come to a close, and fall is officially here. While summer is my favorite time of year, fall runs a close second. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, the weather is usually just about perfect, with mild temperatures that are great for wearing just a light jacket to keep the evening chill away. But, that evening chill also means that many of us start to crank up the heat, as we try to keep our homes nice and comfortable. As you head into fall, these simple tips can help you keep those high energy bills at bay.

1.)    Use ENERGY STAR Certified Lighting: The sun is going down earlier and earlier these days, and that means spending a lot more time with the lights on. Have you changed out all of your lights to ENERGY STAR certified models yet? Using ENERGY STAR certified lighting means that you are using 75 percent less energy than with incandescent bulbs. Making the switch not only means that you are saving $40-$135 in annual energy bills, but your bulbs will last 10-25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

2.)    Seal and Insulate Your Home: Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating. Check out ENERGY STAR’s website to find out more.

3.)    Use a Programmable Thermostat: Using a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save energy this fall. All you have to do is set the correct temperature based on how your home is being used at different points in the day, and let the thermostat do the rest. Setting the device correctly is the most important piece to the puzzle, so use the information on ENERGY STAR’s website and start saving up to $180 per year.

4.)    Use a Power Strip: The end of summer means that the kids will once again be back in the house, watching TV and playing video games. You can make sure that they don’t leave the all of the electronics on day and night by using a power strip. With just one click they can turn everything off at once, helping the entire family to keep those energy bills down.

5.)    Keep Drapes Open: This may be the easiest energy-saving tip of all. Keep the drapes/shades on south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home. Just don’t forget to close the drapes/shades at sundown to prevent heat loss in the evening.

So, what is your favorite fall energy-saving tip? Leave it in a comment to this post and help other fans of the ENERGY STAR Current save energy, save money and protect the climate this fall.

Brittney Gordon-Williams is a member of the ENERGY STAR communications team. Pumpkin-flavored lattes, warm boots and leather jackets are just a few of the things that she loves about fall. 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Jason Malikow permalink
    September 24, 2013

    Good tips. Homeowners who know their energy consumption and costs are in a great position to clean, tune, or upgrade their home performance before the stresses of winter weather.

    Jason Malikow
    American Residential Energy Verification System

  2. Dan Somers permalink
    November 2, 2013

    Has anyone considered the all the energy consumed by the millions of cable-television boxes that are in use? I can’t understand why the small, efficient CableCARD has been made almost obsolete by the cable companies’ insistence that there be an energy-burning cable box plugged into every television.

    My suggestion is for the EPA to urge television manufacturers to once again manufacture TVs that include a CableCARD slot, then urge cable companies to provide efficient CableCARDs to their customers instead of those ugly, expensive, energy-hungry cable boxes. If someone at the EPA “ran the numbers,” I think you’d find out that potential energy savings are substantial.

  3. DbaiG permalink
    November 4, 2013

    Thanks Brittney Gordon for giving these considerable suggestions! Though winter is my favorite season yet the Fall season too attracts me a lot. “SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,”. When the cool, crisp fall climate begins to replace the heat and humidity of summer, excitement grows around the seasonal activities that traditionally accompany these shifts. Good post!


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