Goodhue County Coop News
The seasons are changing and there are opportunities to save energy in your home or business this fall. Click on the highlighted topics within the tips to learn more about that topic.
Even more energy saving tips can be found at www.energy.gov.
1. Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
2. Cover Drafty Windows
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
3. Adjust the Temperature
- When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
4. Find and Seal Leaks
- Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
5. Maintain Your Heating Systems
- Schedule service for your heating system.
- Furnaces and heat pumps: Replace your filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining furnaces or boilers and heat pumps.
- Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.
6. Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
- Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
- Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency. Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.
7. Lower Your Water Heating Costs
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
8. Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs
- Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings.
Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strings.
Ever wondered what it's like to own an EV (electric vehicle)? How about what it would be like to take a little road trip in one? This year, as part of the CONNECT Conference for Cooperative Communicators, Touchstone Energy selected Stearns Electric's communication team to represent MN cooperatives in the Touchstone electric vehicle promotion - Roadtrip Recharged! Amanda and Whitney will be traveling over 1,200 miles in a Tesla EV and recording their experiences the whole way. There are a number of ways to follow them on their journey. If you are curious about EV's and what life might be like with them, then this is something you need to follow! The four communications channels and links are posted below.
Snap Chat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/rt_recharged
doing something no energy provider has ever done.
(click for more info)
Register for Outage Texting!
Visit the Outage Center page (tab at the top) and click on the SIGN UP link to register your account and phone for outage texting! You will be able to enter the word Outage along with a keyword and send it via text to 55050 to report an outage. That's it. No phone call to make, just a simple message and dispatch will be alerted. Make sure you read the instructions (along the left hand side) while you are signing up. You need to register your account number, phone number, and a keyword (such as 'home' or 'farm') in order for the feature to work properly.
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