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Harvest Electricity Savings with Easy Energy Projects

Autumn officially arrived on Sept. 23, meaning lower temperatures and shorter days – and the higher electric bills that come with them – will be here before you know it.

Now’s the time to tackle a few home improvement projects that can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Walton EMC’s energy advisors offer this list of easy fall maintenance projects.

1) Break up with old bulbs. Is remaining true to your outdated incandescent light bulbs worth what it’s costing you in energy bills, especially when days are shorter and lights remain on longer? Make the switch to LED lights, which use at least 75% less energy, and last up to 25 times longer.

2) Make a date. Schedule a tune-up with an HVAC service technician to ensure your heating system is operating efficiently.

3) Check the ducts. In a typical house, about 20%–30% of the air moving through the air duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Use mastic sealant or metal tape to seal leaks on ducts in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements and garages. Also, make sure the connections at vents and registers are tightly sealed.

4) Dodge the drafts. Keeping drafts at bay can cut 10% from the average electric bill. Warm air can escape through fireplaces, eaves, ridge vents, electrical outlets, light fixtures, floors, walls, ceilings, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans and vents. Use caulk and weatherstripping to close gaps.

5) Dress the heater. Outfitting your water heater with an insulation jacket could save about 7%–16% in water heating costs.

6) Get smart. There are smart thermostats for every budget and style, but all allow for more in-depth, automatic temperature management that can save an average 12% on heating costs.