Get energy treats (and avoid getting tricked!) this October

This October, you should be treated by ghoulish figures visiting on Halloween — not tricked by unexpectedly high energy costs.

Every fall, people enjoy the milder temperatures while preparing for the coming Midwestern winter. Make sure you’re treating yourself to energy savings by making the right upgrades.

Buy a mini-split – not a space heater

Electric resistance space heaters have been a go-to solution for cold, uncomfortable rooms. That easy solution to a cold room comes with a high price once the monthly electricity bill comes due. Instead, consider a mini-split heat pump, which can add a little extra heat much more affordably than an electric resistance space heater. Mini-split heat pumps come in a range of heating capacities, so you can find one to heat rooms big and small. Don’t forget that there are also Power Moves rebates to make mini-splits even more affordable.

Buy more air sealing – not a whole home humidifier

Living in a home with dry, staticky winter air is not fun. Most people think they need a humidifier. Yet excessively dry winter air is traditionally a symptom of a poorly air-sealed home. A better idea is to have an energy audit and blower door test conducted. This can find holes, gaps and cracks in the home that let hot air escape. Proper air sealing reduces how much conditioned air escapes, keeping your energy bills low and humidity levels comfortable.

Buy ceiling fans with lower blades – not stubby ones

Energy Star recommends ceiling fans installed in rooms 144 to 400 square feet should have a total blade
span (from one fan blade edge to the edge of the opposite fan blade) between 44 and 54 inches. Consider a smaller blade span for smaller rooms and, conversely, a longer blade span for larger rooms. Ceiling fans sized too small will waste energy by spinning without the person in the room feeling enough air movement.

Buy a cold climate air source heat pump – not an electric furnace

While you may be aware of air source heat pumps, cold climate heat pumps have improved compressors that enable them to be at least 75% more efficient than an electric furnace when it is 5 degrees outside. Add in Power Moves® rebates for installing cold climate heat pumps and you can experience big-time money savings in long-term energy costs!

Even small home improvements can lead to long-term energy savings. Contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor for tips on how you can improve your home’s energy use.

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