Preparing your home properly for cold weather can help keep your winter energy bills under control, and keep you and your family warm when temperatures drop.
- Install a programmable thermostat and set it to lower the temperature at night and whenever the house is unoccupied. Lowering your thermostat by 10 degrees at night can reduce your heating bill by 10 to 20 percent.
- Make sure your programmable thermostat is:
- Installed properly.
- Programmed appropriately – a programmable thermostat only saves energy when it is programmed.
- Not located in an unheated space, a poorly-sealed or seldom-used room, or in direct sunlight near a heat source. The thermostat should be able to sense the average temperature in your home. If it is not in the right place, contact a heating and air conditioning professional about having it moved.
- Lower your thermostat and wear socks and a sweater in doors. Lowering the thermostat by just one degree Fahrenheit can reduce energy use by 3 percent.
- If you have a forced air furnace, inspect your filters at the beginning of the heating season and monthly during the season. Clean or replace them if there is significant dust build up.
- Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air. The air inside your home can be very dry, especially in New Mexico. Moister air feels warmer, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable even though your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.
- Install foam insulation gaskets behind electric outlets and switch plate covers.