Five fast fall energy efficiency tips

When the leaves start to change color and the weather turns cooler, it is the perfect time to make a few small changes that will help you manage your energy costs, while preparing your home for the frigid Michigan winters.

Check out AMP’s top 5 energy saving tips for fall, and check off the ones that you’re going to implement!

Replace your furnace filter

A clean furnace filter improves airflow, letting your fan motor run more efficiently and keeping your energy bill under control. Dirty furnace filters also reduce the air quality in your home, aggravating allergies and asthma for your family. Choose a furnace filter that provides a balance of particle capture and airflow to prevent stress on the system. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to reach desired temperatures as thermometers begin to drop.

Clean out your chimney

Who can resist a warm fireplace during the winter? Before use, make sure it’s clear of bird or animal nests and soot. Have it swept and checked for damage or cracks. Unknown damage could be a huge fire hazard for your home.

Test run your heater

Testing your heater before winter rolls around can help you save both money and unnecessary shivers. Set your heater for 80 degrees and check all the vents in your home. This is also a great opportunity to move any obstacles blocking your heating vents. Make sure to turn down the heat directly after the test run. If your heater isn’t running properly, contact a qualified service technician before temperatures begin to drop. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will not only reduce the amount of energy you use but could also save you an estimated 10 percent a year on your energy costs.

Prep your windows

Check for leaks in your windows by feeling around for cool air during a chilly, fall day. Caulk or fill if necessary. If your home’s windows simply need an upgrade, there’s no better time to switch to high performance windows. Double-pane or triple-pane works the best. You can also use clear plastic or vinyl sheeting on the inside of your windows to make a temporary double-pane window. Another tip is to keep your shades and windows open while we’re still enjoying sunny fall days to take advantage of natural sunlight. This will keep you comfortable for a fraction of the cost.

Invest in energy-efficient improvements

Fall is also a great time to start working on improvements that will make your home more energy-efficient all year round. Consider adding insulation to your home to keep the temperature inside your house more constant. Low-income families may qualify for weatherization assistance.

Before you know it, fall will transition into winter, which inevitably means higher energy costs. Luckily, a combination of smart, simple energy choices can have a big impact.