Want to save energy on heating costs this winter? Here are 10 things you can do

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Replacing an old furnace with a new efficient one is an investment that will pay back in energy savings

If you’re anything like my family, this cool weather gets you thinking about what you can do to save energy heating your home this fall and winter. Here are some things you can do in the next couple months (if you haven’t already):

Things you should do now to save on heating costs:

  • Change your furnace filter every 1-2 months, unless it is filter specifically designed for longer life.
  • Switch furnace fan setting from continuous to auto *
  • Hire a professional to do a Home Performance Audit of your home
  • Install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers
  • Air seal and insulate your house to recommended levels
  • When your fireplace is not in use, be sure the damper is closed
  • Install a programmable thermostat (and program it—see notes below)
  • If you have an old, inefficient furnace, install a new ENERGY STAR furnace

Things you should do when it gets colder:

  • Adjust thermostat from 68˚ to 60˚ at night and during the day when no one is home
  • Grab a sweater instead of turning up the heat

Note on fan setting: However, if this fan is being used to distribute ventilation air by code or by choice, you may need to leave it on continuous or install a cycle timer.

After you take actions: Be sure to take part in the Family Energy FACE-OFF to join a team and contribute your actions to the Mill Pond Minimizers or Prairie Penny Pinchers! The FACE-OFF is a contest running from Earth Day 2012 to Earth Day 2013 where two Minnesota families are facing off to see who can save more energy, and they need YOUR help!

Meet the competing families, see what they’re doing to save energy and money in their homes, then join a team to contribute your actions at http://faceoff.mncerts.org! Watch this video to learn more:

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