The 6 Best Ways to Save on Utilities This Fall and Winter
October 22, 2020
One of the reasons families choose to live in the Sun Belt region of the U.S. is the relatively mild winters. Sure, the temperature can dip below freezing from time to time, but it never remains bitterly cold for the entire winter season. Residents of ArrowBrooke, a master-planned community located near Denton and Frisco, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and biking year round. However, winter is still winter and cooler weather can alter the demand for utilities and potentially increase the fees homeowners must pay.
However, there are ways to keep “old man winter” outside, where he belongs!
Six Tips for Staying Warm and Cozy
#1 Buy a new home, rather than older one
The materials and technologies of home building, heating and air conditioning and appliances over the past few years have dramatically improved energy efficiency. Plus, with a newly built home, everything is under a warranty. Win/Win.
The homes in ArrowBrooke are constructed by some of the best builders in the country and some use energy-saving techniques such as radiant barrier sheathing roof decking that can reduce utility bills in the winter by 10 to 15%. This adds up quickly.
#2 Look for ENERGY STAR ® certified homes and appliances
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home or apartment must meet strict program requirements for energy efficiency developed by ENERGY STAR’s Residential New Construction program. ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more efficient than homes built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average. Homes and apartments achieve this level of performance through a complete package of building science measures and appliances.”
#3 Take advantage of heat from the sun
As noted earlier, even in the winter, Texas has many sunny days. Why not take advantage of this to save some money on utilities. The Department of Energy suggests that homeowners “Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.”
#4 Adjust the temperature
When you are home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable. However, when you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A “smart” or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
The homes in ArrowBrooke feature a wide range of programmable thermostats and they help save thousands of dollars a year on utilities.
#5 Maintain the heating system
It is advisable to Schedule regular service for a heating system and replace the filter once a month or as needed.
#6 Reduce heat loss from a fireplace
It’s amazing how much heat can be wasted by a fireplace, especially in an older home. The Department of Energy suggests several things that can be done to mitigate this waste of energy.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
Feel the Warmth
The quality-built homes in ArrowBrooke are designed to the highest energy-saving standards and this makes for less maintenance and greater savings in every season. Come feel the warmth of this fabulous community. Just click here for all the details.