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Green Tip of the Month: Winter Energy Savings


Reduce heating energy use
Winter heating represents about 50% of a household’s energy consumption. Minimize the impact in the home, office or lab by setting thermostats to 65–68ºF during active hours and 50–60ºF during vacant or sleeping hours. Plant Operations can assist with lab thermostat adjustments. Also, consider running a space heater to warm up a room instead of turning up the heat in an entire household.


Minimize heat loss
Create your own storm windows by using plastic sheets and tape to seal drafty windows, or purchase commercial mounting kits — and don’t forget to reuse the plastic next year! Also, minimize drafts by removing window air conditioners and covering the interior, and possibly exterior, faces of permanent window and wall air conditioners. And on campus, enter and exit buildings through revolving doors, which prevent heat from escaping and save up to 30% in energy costs spent reheating lobbies.


Maximize existing warmth
Since air feels warmer in higher humidity, buy a humidifier or place pans of water on radiators, and allow steam from showers or baths to escape into adjacent rooms. Make sure home, office or lab furniture, drapes and blinds do not block or obstruct heat vents, radiators or baseboard heaters. And turn ceiling fans on to the lowest speed to push elevated hot air downward toward the floor.

Did You Know?

A crack as small as 1/16th of an inch around a window frame can let in as much cold air as leaving the window open three inches.