Oklahoma seems to get few of the benefits of the winter months (beautiful snow) but plenty of the hazards (dangerous ice, biting wind). Since most homes in Oklahoma City are heated with natural gas, conservation becomes not just a cost issue but also an environmental one.
Here is a collection of a few of those energy conservation tips that will help you do both of those things if you put them to good use for the winter:
- Be careful with your water use - Cutting your shower time down just a few minutes each time can save you more than you'd think. Check leaks. One drip can cost you 75 gallons of water a month. Insulate pipes where possible to prevent heat loss, and only operate dishwashers and washing machines with full loads. Consider low-flow shower heads.
- Watch the thermostat closely - Would it really make much of a difference to you if you turned the thermostat down a couple of degrees? It probably wouldn't at all, especially if you threw on a sweatshirt around the house. But the savings on your energy bill will be tremendous. ONG says that each degree you set your thermostat above 68 degrees increases heating costs by 3%.
- Make some minor adjustments - As mentioned before, simple minor adjustments like putting on a sweater will help your energy savings. In addition, open the shades during the day if you don't already. Let the sun warm your home. Move chairs and couches away from the walls, and try to do the bulk of your leisure activities in the warmer rooms of your house.
- Insulation is key - Have you been putting off changing filters or having new windows installed? You shouldn't. If you have dirty filters or poor window insulation, you will lose much more in the long run. In the meantime, though, check seals and place blankets around windows or add an insulating blanket to your water heater.
- Beware the fireplace temptation - I love a warm fire as much as the next person, but believe it or not, you're actually doing more harm than good when you have one burning. ONG says you could be drawing off as much as 20% of the heat in your home. Burn a fire as a special occasion rather than the norm, and make sure the dampers are closed and sealed tightly when the fireplace is not in use.