'Be Prepared': Winterizing Your Home - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

'Be Prepared': Winterizing Your Home

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Ameren official checks insulation in the attack of a Quincy home. Ameren official checks insulation in the attack of a Quincy home.
Energy efficiency testing done recently at a Quincy home. Energy efficiency testing done recently at a Quincy home.
Fan is put in place during energy efficiency testing. Fan is put in place during energy efficiency testing.
Ameren official uses a device when testing a Quincy home. Ameren official uses a device when testing a Quincy home.
Ameren official checks the sealing around a sliding glass door. Ameren official checks the sealing around a sliding glass door.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

If you're like a lot of people, you probably cringe at that first winter energy bill, but we have an idea that could save you some money.

Ameren Illinois is among the utility companies that offer customers energy audits. Energy experts will test how energy efficient your home is. 

Ameren said to keep your energy bills down, it's important that walls and attic spaces are properly insulated. Other tips include replacing furnace filters every 30 days and putting plastic over your windows. 

"I don't think people are aware of how much heat they can lose just through their windows," Ameren Illinois Energy Efficient Advisor Agnes Mrozowski said. "Also, if you have a fireplace, we recommend that you keep the flue close if you're not using it. That heat can escape up your chimney as well."

Ameren also says you should put weather stripping around doors...and set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to push heat down into the living space. If you own your home and want an energy audit, you can call Ameren to learn more about it.

Click here for more information on the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. Your can find tips and how-to videos provided by Ameren here.


7 ENERGY-SAVINGS PROJECTS YOU CAN DO IN 5 MINUTES OR LESS

  • Switch for savings
    • Replace the light bulbs in your home with LED bulbs, which use 25%–30% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. This simple switch can save you up to $75 each year.
  • Adjust your lights with dimmers
    • Dimmers reduce the flow of electricity to your bulbs and allow your lights to shine using lower power outputs — and can even make your bulbs last longer.
  • Check your filter
    • Check your air filter every month, especially those months when you use your HVAC system the most. A dirty filter slows the airflow and makes the system work harder to keep your home warm or cool.
  • Close the vents
    • If you live in a house with an extra guest room or basement that isn’t used very often, close the vents and doors in those rooms to help conserve energy when they're not in use. Next time your family comes to visit, simply open the vents before they arrive so the room returns to the comfortable temperature.
  • Roll out the rugs
    • Instead of cranking up the heat whenever your bare floors are chilly in the winter, lay down an area rug. Rugs trap heat more efficiently than hardwood floors, giving the heating system in your home a rest, which means you get lower energy bills, a beautiful home, and warm feet!
  • Circulate air with ceiling fans
    • When using your air conditioning, a ceiling fan lets you raise the thermostat about 4 degrees while still providing the same level of comfort. But be sure to turn those fans off when you leave the room — fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Water heater
    • Do you know the temperature your water heater is set on? A heater set to 140 degrees or higher can waste $36–$61 each year. Turn yours down to 120 degrees to save energy without giving up those warm, relaxing showers.

***Information provided by Ameren Illinois


CHECKLIST:

  • Insulate walls and attic.
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along outer walls. This will make water less likely to freeze.
  • Service snow-removal equipment.
  • Have chimney and flue inspected.
  • Install easy-to-read outdoor thermometer.
  • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.

^Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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