Compared to many Americans, the majority of southern Nevada residents enjoy mild winter conditions, especially in the Las Vegas Valley. While we don’t get the heavy snowstorms or blistering below zero temperatures, it still gets cold November through March. Every year the wind seems to pick up and blast below freezing gusts from Boulder City to Summerlin. Turning up the heat can not only be expensive, but it also dries the air in your home even more, contributing to dry, cracking skin. Here are some tips to help you save on your energy bill without bundling up in several layers.
1. Seal Window and Door Leaks
From manufactured homes to custom-designed plans, cold air can seep in through the gaps between the framing and windows and doors. Even the smallest nooks and crannies can let in enough of a draft to lower interior temperatures several degrees. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal the space around exterior openings.
Dirt and debris can result in weather stripping, becoming less effective over time. As both the rubber and vinyl options age, they also become brittle and dry, especially in the arid desert environment. Inspect it twice a year for damage or wear and tear to help the cold stay out during the winter and to keep the cool air from the air conditioner during the summer.
2. Upgrade Your Thermostat
You can tailor a heating schedule to meet your needs with a programable or smart thermostat. Programable options can be relatively inexpensive and let you set the temperature lower when you’re not at home and turn on before you get there, so your home is toast when you arrive. Smart thermostats let you control your HVAC system from your smartphone. If you are going to be late getting home, change the schedule so that you aren’t heating an empty house.
3. Lower the Thermostat
According to Sleep Advisor, our body temperature drops, signaling it’s time for rest. When you keep the bedroom cooler, it can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality by stimulating the production of melatonin. When you sleep better, you’re often in a better mood, with more energy and lower stress levels. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can program it to turn on the heat before you get out of bed, making the house warm. So, snuggle in and enjoy a good night’s rest.
4. Clean or Replace Filters
Sand, dust, and small particles can get into your ventilation system and clog the filters reducing airflow. Over time your HVAC system has to work harder. This translates to higher energy bills. Change or clean the filters at least once, preferably twice a year. Not only does it mean your heating bills may be lower, but it can extend the expected life of the equipment.
5. Get a Tune-Up
Speaking of the life expectancy of your HVAC system … Have it serviced annually. Just like a car, your heating system requires regular maintenance to stay in good health and perform optimally. Call a professional for a tune-up. An inspection can ensure worn parts are replaced before they become a problem.
6. Replace Traditional Lightbulbs
LED bulbs last 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs and use 75% less energy. You can replace traditional 40, 60, and 75-watt bulbs with replacement LEDs. When you buy them, make sure they are the brightness and color you want. Color ranges from cool white to warm yellow, similar to incandescent light bulbs. Whether you are putting them into recessed lighting or changing the bulbs in a table lamp, LEDs can help you save energy year-round.
7. Install Solar Screens
The PVC coated fiberglass that exterior solar screens use is a denser weave than regular screens. This helps them reduce the amount of air that can penetrate the window. This extra layer of protection can improve the performance of your regular windows by up to 15% and offer the same benefits that you want during the summer, such as reducing glare from the sun, providing daytime privacy and protecting your interior from the sun’s harmful rays.
Making small changes can result in energy savings of up to 30%. Over time, that adds up, putting more money in your pocket and less to the utility bills. Eclipse Solar Screens specializes in one-story homes and serves the Greater Las Vegas Area, including Enterprise, Spring Valley, Pahrump, Paradise, and Henderson. Contact us or call 702-219-4282 for a free quote.