Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Winter is Coming: IDT Energy Says Its Time to Get Ready

Here we are watching the days shorten, leaves fall, sun loose some of its warm luster and taking our winter things out of mothballs. IDT Energy is getting ready for winter by sending you some simple but practical and effective ideas to save money and energy while staying toasty warm all winter.

1. If you have a forced-air HVAC heating system then it most likely has a simple filter in the ducts near the furnace. It is important to change this filter every few months to maintain efficient and clean operation. When your furnace is working overtime during the winter this bit of maintenance can become an extremely important to lower your energy bill. The filters are inexpensive and pay for themselves in energy savings in no time.

2. Does your home leak some of the warm air that you spent so much money to heat? Seal up those leaks in your walls and windows, even small ones, with weather-stripping, caulk and other insulating materials, and you will find not only is your house warmer, but your energy bill is also lower.

3. Maybe it’s time for a new furnace? If it’s as old as or older than your teenage children it might save you lots of money to replace it with a new “Energy Star” furnace. The sooner you begin saving on your energy bill, the sooner your new furnace will pay for itself and start saving you lots of money.

4. Ready to change your light bulbs? We use more artificial light in the winter. The more efficient the bulbs you use, the less energy you use and the more money you save. Consider switching to compact fluorescent bulbs for the most efficient artificial lighting solution.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Winter in New York Savings Ideas from IDT Energy

New York in the winter can be fun and exciting. It can also be cold, and a challenge to stay warm within a budget. IDT Energy has some simple tips to keep you warm and cozy, and your pockets full.

1. Put a layer of shrink wrap, plastic film, over your windows. Fast, cheap and effective, adding this extra thermal layer helps keep the warm air in and the cold air out. The tools and supplies you need to do this yourself are easily available at most hardware stores, and the application can be done yourself. Covering your window in plastic creates an air pocket which insulates but at the same time allows the sun to shine in.

2. Because we feel colder in the winter there is a tendency to use more hot water. Our hot showers are a tad longer; we wash hands more often with hot water just to warm up. To balance out this extra hot water use it is a good idea to adjust the setting on the hot water heater. You might be able to lower the temperature even 20 degrees and maintain a high comfort level. Why not leave the temperature at this level during the summer as well? Expect your bill to heat hot water to go down about 10%.

3. If you have a southern exposure, take advantage of all the free solar energy right outside your windows. Pull open the drapes and let the ultimate heat source warm up your cold bones.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

IDT Energy Presents: Stay Warm in Winter Without Busting the Bank

Everyone loves winter in New York, but it can be a challenge to your budget to keep warm all winter. IDT Energy has some easy to implement energy saving ideas to get you and your bank account comfortable through the winter.

1. Because most homes are heated with appliances that are fuel-fired, the greatest cost comes at start-up and shut-down. A programmable thermostat helps you maintain constant temperatures or gradual increase and decrease of temperatures. Set to cooler temperatures at night, and begin heating even before you wake up. You will be warmer during the day and save money too. For the most efficient heating, get a programmable thermostat.

2. Set your thermostat to a lower temperature. You won’t feel the difference of just a few degrees, but you will notice it in your monthly fuel bill, which will be substantially lower. Each degree Fahrenheit that you lower the thermostat you can expect a 3% savings on your energy bill. A comfortable daytime temperature for your thermostat is 68 degrees, and about 5-8 degrees less at night during sleep. When spring comes around again you’ll be glad for the money you saved.

3. Did you know that warm air rises and cold air sinks? You can use this principle to circulate the warm air that is stuck to your ceiling down to ground level, by reversing the direction on your ceiling fans. Most fans have a switch to reverse the direction it spins. In the summer make sure the lower part of the paddle goes first around the fan to draw the air up. In the winter flip the switch to push the warm air down.