Winter is on its way…Are YOU ready?

October 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

Don't let this be you this Winter! (google images)

Although last week’s weather permitted shorts and t-shirts, it won’t be long before long puffy coats and snowflakes blanket the streets of Madison.  Hot cocoa will warm frozen fingers and scarves will save necks, but the dilemma to be faced is that of winterizing your home or apartment.  Here are a few tips to protect your shivering selves and pocketbooks from the wrath of winter’s most harsh behavior. Let EnAct help you get started with 18 pages specifically devoted to energy conservation where you will discover numerous ways to winterize your home or apartment.

HOME

According to the Green Living Ideas blog, one of the simplest ways you can stay cozy and save energy is to inspect your house for drafts sneaking in from the outside.

  • Seal any leaks with insulation, caulking, weather stripping, and door snakes, or make your own Draft Stopper Snake!
  • Install ceiling fans and set them clockwise in winter, to help push warmer air down where you can enjoy it.
  • Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that fulfills heating needs around your schedule. You set it so the heat kicks on for a specified amount of time before you arrive home or before you get up in the mornings. Also, remember to wear layers of warm cotton clothing in dark colors that absorb light and heat.
  • Better yet, invite all of your friends over and have a winter gala. Rumor has it that each guest is the equivalent of a 175-watt heater. The more the merrier—and toastier!

These are just a few ideas.  Check out what the EPA has to say. Maybe even look into getting an Energy Star Home Performance evaluation by a trained professional to spot the leaks in  your home.

APARTMENT

“Winterizing” apartments can be a bit trickier than winterizing your home. For one thing, you may not be allowed to make all the necessary adjustments (check with your landlord or leasing office), and second, the entire building your apartment is in may need to be winterized.  In any case, you can still stay warm and save a few bucks, especially as a resident of Dane County. EnAct offers a FREE $35 Conservation Kit from MG&E  when you fill out our  Pre-Program Survey. For more ideas, check out the tips below courtesy of University of Southern Maine’s Professor, Sandra Wachholtz

  • Feeling cold drafts? Insulate outlets.
  • Plastic Window Insulation: Use masking tape to put up plastic window insulation.
  • Run a vaporizer to make your apartment warmer and more comfortable in the winter months. With the moisture in the air, you can turn down your thermostat five to eight degrees and still feel warm. It also cuts down on carpet shocks from static electricity.
  • In medieval times, people would hang blankets on exterior walls.
  • Dressing warmly (wearing sweatshirts or layering sweaters over your clothes) is another trick to use in your homes. Thick socks or house shoes will keep your tootsies warm.
  • Extra rugs, such as throw rugs, may help warm up bare floors. You can also put them over carpeting if you have a wood floor underneath the carpeting; cold air may come up through the cracks in the floor and the extra layer of rug may help.

Stay warm!

The EnAct team,

Annie Marx


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Entry filed under: conservation, energy, other, people, saving money.

Let’s “Move the Planet” together this weekend! Are you REAPing the benefits of local foods?

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