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Seasonal Energy Tips

Seasonal Energy Tips

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Watch our do-it-yourself videos to learn simple things you can do to improve your home's energy efficiency. Contact the Energy Advisor for more information, email energyadvisor@oppd.com or call 402-636-3850 (in Omaha Metro area),  1-800-648-2658 (Outside Omaha).

Winter Energy-Saving Tips

  • Schedule a fall check-up of your heating equipment with a licensed contractor. Dirt and neglect are the main causes of system failures.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Set your thermostat as low as comfortably possible. 
  • By resetting your programmable thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 for eight hours a day, you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. (Resetting not recommended with heat pumps.)
  • Close the damper when you’re not using your fireplace. This will greatly reduce heat loss up the chimney.
  • Never use a traditional fireplace for supplemental heating. A fireplace sucks air out of your home to fuel the fire and exhausts warm air out through the chimney.
  • Leave shades and blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Seal cracks and other openings in your home to minimize air leaks.
  • Replace or add weather-stripping around door frames and window frames.
  • You also may need to caulk between the frame and the siding on the inside and outside.
  • Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces to make sure it meets ENERGY STAR-recommended levels.
  • Learn about OPPD’s Home Energy Analysis.
  • Get more tips from the Department of Energy.

Summer Energy-Saving Tips

  • Schedule a spring check-up of your cooling equipment with a licensed contractor. Dirt and neglect are the main causes of system failures.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. A one-degree increase can save 3 to 5 percent on energy.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. Consider installing a programmable thermostat for this.
  • Use ceiling fans to enable you to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees, with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • Keep window shades and blinds closed to block direct sunlight.
  • Seal cracks and other openings in your home to minimize air leaks.
  • Learn about OPPD’s Home Energy Analysis.
  • Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces to make sure it meets ENERGY STAR-recommended levels.
  • Get more tips from the Department of Energy.

Year-Round Energy-Saving Tips 

  • Dim or turn off any unnecessary lighting when not in use. 
  • Use area lighting so you don't have to light the entire room.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFL’s save energy and money.
  • Check air registers. Make sure furniture and drapes do not restrict airflow.
  • Install sufficient attic ventilation. If there is no vapor barrier (see next item below) in the ceiling, you need one square foot of vent area for every 150 square feet of attic space. If the ceiling has a vapor barrier, you need one square foot of vent area for every 300 square feet of attic space.
  • You have a vapor barrier on the floor of your attic if you have batt insulation with kraft paper on the bottom or if you have fill-type insulation with a plastic sheet underneath.
  • Set your hot-water heater at 120 to 140 degrees.
  • If your water heater is in a cool or unheated area, install an insulating jacket and insulate the hot-water pipes.
  • To get the most out of your air distribution system, seal exposed ductwork with mastic compound or tape “approved” for duct sealing. Do not use common duct tape. Aerosol products are available for sealing ducts that are located behind finished ceilings and walls and must be done by a professional with specialty equipment and training.