Staying warm and safe during winter can become a challenge for many seniors and people living with disabilities. Although staying indoors as much as possible can help reduce your risk of having an automobile accident or falling on the ice, there are other problems that you may face in your home when the weather gets cold.
Poor insulation, drafty windows, and clogged furnace filters are just a few things that can spike your heating bill in the winter and raise your risk of developing hypothermia. Protecting your home against the cold can keep you warm and dry this winter, and also lower your energy use up to 50%, which means big savings on your next heating bill.
One tip for conserving energy this winter is to set your furnace between 68 and 70 degrees. When you're going to be away from your home during the day, set the furnace thermostat 3 to 5 degrees lower. You can also use a draft stopper underneath exterior doors to reduce drafts. Do you have air infiltration through your windows? Use caulk to weatherstrip the doors and windows that leak air.
Here are a few other energy conservation tips:
Replace furnace filters: Help your furnace breathe easier—check your filter at least once a month and replace when it’s dirty.
Wash cold: About 90% of the energy used to wash clothes goes towards heating water. A laundry detergent designed for cold water washing works just as well. Switch to cold water and save to $40 in energy costs annually. Also, running a full load in your washer can save 3,400 gallons of water a year.
Retire your refrigerator: An old fridge (pre-2001) is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home. If you have an old refrigerator, replace it with one that is Energy Star™ certified. It will use about 40% less electricity.
Buy CFLs: Compact Fluorescent Lights are better and cheaper. Switch from old-style bulbs to CFLs and you’ll cut your electricity bill for lighting by around 75%.
Turn the lights off: The easiest way to save energy and save money? Turn off the lights when you leave a room!
Use your (shower) head: Replacing old shower heads in your bathroom with low-flow models can cut energy and water use by 25% or more. Faucet aerators and toilet tank volume-reducing bladders will also help conserve water. Fix your leaky faucets—a faucet that drips 3 times in 5 seconds wastes 13 gallons of water per day and 4,927 gallons per year.
The energy trap: The U.S. Department of Energy & the Environmental Protection Agency figure that you’ll save around $34 a year in energy costs if you clean the lint trap in your clothes dryer before each and every load.
What other tips/advice do you have for conserving energy this winter?
Take the next step toward your independent future. Village Craftsmen offers a THRIVE Bathroom Design Safety Program to not only help you age in place, but thrive in place. An in-home, experienced rehabilitation technician will:
- LISTEN to your concerns regarding bathroom safety
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- ARRANGE for a quote to install safety enhancements if you desire
To learn more contact us today or call us!