Spring and fall in Las Vegas are the best times for your power bill. You can leave the windows open to catch a fresh breeze, and there’s nothing that can’t be solved with a blanket across your lap, or by carefully choosing which shirt to wear that day. When the extreme temperatures show up in summer and winter, though, that’s when you have to start spending money just to make your home a comfortable place to live again.
If you want to save some money during the winter months the following tips can help you cut down on the amount of money you spend heating your home.
#1: Make Use of the Las Vegas Sunlight
One thing we have plenty of in Las Vegas is sunlight. And even during winter months, by opening blinds and making use of natural light you can help raise temperatures in your home.
#2: Ceiling Fans
While most use fans to cool rooms during summer months, many overlook the opportunity to use ceiling fans to their advantage during the cold seasons. Almost all modern ceiling fans are reversible. And by changing the fan direction to blow upward, ceiling fans will help recirculate the warm air to the lower half of the room while pulling cool air upward.
The lack of direct airflow when reversed also prevents the cooling effect fans have on skin while balancing room temperatures. This is especially effective on houses with high ceilings. Learn more about the benefit of ceiling fans here.
#3: Check For Air Leaks
The most common place for air leaks are around doors. Even new homes in the Las Vegas / Henderson area are notorious for poorly installed (or non-existent) gaskets and door sweeps designed to insulate and keep bugs / dust from entering your home. Window caulking is just as critical. Especially in older homes caulking will dry up and crack and needs to be redone to maintain proper seal.
Another less obvious source for air leaks are Electrical Outlets. They may seem small, but in numbers they constitute space for hot air to escape and cool air to enter. By covering electrical outlets you will better insulate your home by minimizing the loss of hot air (every bit helps).
#4: Avoid Micro Allergen Air Filters
Because of the extreme Las Vegas heat, we typically recommend against the use of Micro Allergen air filters. Micro Allergen filters have a finer mesh screening to trap more contaminants. Conversely they also restrict airflow more than conventional air filters, especially after use where they clog even easier. We have seen numerous cases of heating & cooling system inefficiency whereas the restriction of Allergen filters simple never lets heaters or air conditioners reach their set temperature.
If you do need to use Allergen Filters, just ensure that they are changed regularly or as soon as dust buildup becomes evident. The reduction of run time on your heating (and cooling) system will often make up for the additional replacement costs.
#5: Use Programmable Thermostats (correctly)
Programmable thermostats when used correctly do prove more efficient. They allow you to control temperature settings for when you are home and dependent on comfortable temperatures. Newer, more advanced systems even allow for remote access and monitoring. To learn more about the benefits and how to get the most out of programmable temperature control systems, click here.
#6: Close Window Coverings at Night
Unlike walls, windows provide minimal insulation to prevent the transfer of outside temperatures. By closing window coverings at night however, you can reduce the loss of heat. This is especially helpful with single pane windows located in many older Las Vegas / Henderson homes.
#7: Check Insulation In The Attic
Properly installed, quality insulation in the attic of your home makes a huge difference in the loss of heat inside your home. If you are unable inspect the condition of your attic, there are several specialists in the Las Vegas area who can help you out. Making sure attic insulation is in good condition and properly installed is well worth the investment.
#8: Fireplace Settings
If you use a fireplace to warm your home, check the damper settings to make sure that the heat being generated isn’t going right out of your chimney. Proper dampener settings ensure the correct balance of heating, airflow and smoke evacuation. If you’re not sure how to properly set your dampener, consult the manual of manufacturer of your fireplace for proper settings.
#9: Don’t Heat Rooms You Don’t Use
You know that guest room you never use? Or that craft supply room you only venture to once in a blue moon? Well, if you leave the vents open during the winter your heating system is going to do its best to keep them nice and toasty… even though no one is using them!
So, before the mercury really starts to fall, go around to the rooms you’re not using, close their vents and close the doors. Only heat the rooms you actually spend time in.
#10: Clean, and Fill, Your Fridge
The condenser coil on your fridge is directly responsible for how efficiently the machine runs. Take a look at yours, and if it’s dirty, take some time to clean it. This will help it run more efficiently.
Additionally, try to keep your fridge and freezer stocked. When your fridge is empty, it actually has to work extra hard to keep things cool because of all the empty space. Chilled items will work to maintain the cool, taking the burden off the fridge and allowing it to use less energy.
#11: Clean Your Furnace, and Set Your Thermostat
Machines that manage temperatures always run more efficiently when they’re clean, and if your furnace vents are full of dust then it might be spending more energy than necessary. Give your furnace a once-over before it really gets cold out, and make sure there aren’t any hairballs in the ventilation system.
Additionally, you should turn your thermostat down a few degrees. It might not seem like much, but just moving that needle a little to the left can have a big effect on your overall bill. A sweater can do wonders for keeping you comfortable, and it doesn’t cost anything to put on an extra layer.
#12: Put Some Thought Into Your Washing
While it might seem like a modern indulgence, your dishwasher is actually very efficient when compared to hand-washing your dishes. If you make sure it’s properly loaded, and filled with the right soap, then you’re going to get clean dishes with the most efficient wash you could get.
The same logic applies to your laundry. Make sure the washing machine is doing a full load, because then it won’t be wasting any energy. If you want to be extra efficient, you should consider turning the water heat down, and using cold water to wash your clothes. It won’t hurt most of your closet, and it will use a lot less energy.
#13: Use LED Holiday Lighting
As of 2017 LED holiday lighting is readily available and affordable. Efficiency, safety, longevity and power consumption make them well worth the investment and a great way to keep power costs down over the holidays. For more information on Holiday Lighting click here.
If Penny Electric can be of service in away way during the renovation or improvement of your homes electrical system, feel free to contact us today!