Welcome to PowerHouse!
Every month you can take part in an energy-efficient home improvement challenge. These challenges include seasonal topics to help you save on your energy bill all year long.
October challenge: Check on your furnace.
From critters to catastrophes, the causes of furnace sounds this time of year can be scary to think about. But don’t let spooky noises give you the chills! Here are four tips to help you stay warm this winter.
- Schedule a furnace tuneup now before the cold sets in.
- Change your furnace filter regularly, preferably once a month. Clean air filters allow the furnace to function properly; dirty filters may shorten its life, cause it to work harder and cost you more.
- Address warning signs such as noises or inadequate heat early to avoid bigger problems later.
- Call a professional if simple steps don’t resolve the issue.
Regular preventative maintenance can keep scary sounds at bay, as well as higher repair costs down the road. Get ready for winter now by checking on your furnace.
Take the challenge to learn about furnace filters from Pete and Megan.
September challenge: Prepare for back-to-school season.
It's September, time for kids to refocus on school. It's also a great time to refocus the whole family on energy-saving habits. The key is to make small changes. The payoff is a lower bill and less stress on the electric grid.
Use these tips to save energy at home this school year:
- Unplug unused devices. Many devices still consume power when plugged in but not in use. It’s called phantom energy, and it may account for up to 10% of your annual usage. An advanced power strip can detect when a device is not in use and automatically cut power to it.
- Adjust your thermostat. Since there will be fewer people in the house during the day, you won’t need to keep your home as cool. Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher to reduce energy waste. You may consider installing a smart thermostat. They can learn your schedule and adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Swap out your bulbs. With the kids away, you’ll use fewer lights on a regular basis. You can save even more by swapping incandescent bulbs for LEDs. LEDs last longer and use much less energy.
- Get the kids involved in after-school activities. When the kids are out of the house, they’re less likely to spend excessive time on electronic devices. Encourage outdoor activities or after-school groups to keep them busy and entertained.
With a few small changes you’ll be well on your way to an energy-efficient school year!
Learn more about how advanced power strips can help manage phantom energy usage from Pete and Megan.
August challenge: Prepare for storm season.
Storms can be a real downer, especially when they knock out the power. Don’t get stuck in the dark unprepared! Fortunately, there are things you and your family can do before the next storm hits:
- Sign up for outage alerts in My Account.
- Stock up on nonperishable food, water and pet items.
- Keep flashlights and extra batteries handy.
- Protect electronics with surge protectors.
The best way to weather a storm is to have a safety plan in place ahead of time!
If you don’t know where to begin, let Pete and Megan show you how to prepare a home emergency kit.