Make Your List, Check it Twice: Winter Home Efficiency Tips

Whether 2020 has crawled by at a snail’s pace, or you blinked in mid-March and, all of a sudden, it’s time to get leaves picked up before the first heavy snows hit, we’ll forgive you if not every item on your energy-efficiency to-do list has yet to be marked off. We’ve all had a lot on our minds this year.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to surge, the simple fact is we’re all likely to spend a lot of time in our homes this winter. That means it’s the perfect time to maximize your home’s energy efficiency before the weather gets colder.

Service your HVAC

Hopefully you’ve been taking advantage of the mild fall weather and enjoying some fresh air with your windows open over the last few weeks. Although temperatures are mild, it won’t be long before you’re turning the heat on. Before you do, consider scheduling an inspection of your heating and cooling system. An HVAC professional will inspect your system and clean the blower, coils, and elements or burners to make sure your system is in good working order before winter weather hits.

Seal openings around doors and windows

Doors, hatches, vents, and foundation wall openings can be some of the biggest reasons your home loses energy through the winter. With the proper upgrades, you can fill those gaps and save more energy. Luckily for you, we came up with a simple, DIY guide to do just that. With some scissors, a measuring tape, and a few other standard household items, you can make sure your home is sealed and ready for maximum efficiency this winter.

Request analysis of your home’s energy bills

Maybe you spent your quarantine tackling the obvious DIY energy projects to make your home more efficient. Good for you! But if you’re ready for a deeper dive into your home’s energy use, contact your local electric co-op for an analysis on your home’s energy bills and use. [AA1] Your energy advisor can help identify ways you’re wasting energy, provide a professional opinion on how you can improve efficiency, and point you toward programs & incentives that will help you save. It’s easy to get started: Just fill out our simple Home Energy Assessment Request Form.

Reduce heat loss from the fireplace

There are few things that feel cozier than a roaring fire in the winter. However, if the fire isn’t burning, leaving the damper open is like having an open window suck out energy during the winter. The warm air goes right up the chimney. If you never use your fireplace, it’s probably a good idea to plug and seal the chimney flue. If you do use the fireplace, you may want to install a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room. Caulking around the fireplace hearth might also help improve efficiency.

Upgrade your holiday lighting

Are you still using that vintage holiday lighting display you inherited from your parents? While those old decorations may evoke childhood memories, they’re probably draining your energy. Consider upgrading to LED bulbs to save money and energy on your holiday decorations this year. Pro tip: Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR-certified decorative light strings.

A more energy-efficient home will keep you warm and toasty all winter long, and saving money is a plus in any season. Discover more ways to save energy and money this winter at