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Fall means cooler weather, changing leaves, and festive decorations, now your decorations can help save energy too! | Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/benedek
Summer has flown by and next week marks the official start of autumn. Nature will soon be filled with brilliantly colored foliage, weekends will mean football games, and sweatshirt weather will commence.
One of my favorite parts of changing seasons is the excuse to decorate, bake, and make my home feel festive. When decorating this season think about ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle while saving energy.
Rethink Décor Materials
Everyone loves eating at a dining table decorated with a festive gourd centerpiece or walking up to a house with a beautiful pumpkin or dried corn stock welcoming them. If you vie for real pumpkins, gourds, and corn when decorating you can compost the decorations at the end of the season rather than sending them to the basement or landfill. Some jurisdictions even have programs to turn food waste into a renewable source of energy!
If you are thinking about changing out your window treatments for something seasonally appropriate, remember they are not just for decoration, but also for saving energy! Drapery fabric type and color play a role in helping you save energy, but so does the way they are installed. Draperies should be hung as close to the window as possible, with a seal on both sides, and overlap in the middle. If installed properly they can reduce heat loss from a room up to 25%.
The cooler autumnal temperatures mean air conditioning may not be needed in several parts of the country and a fan may be sufficient-- just be sure to turn the fans off when you leave the room as they cool people, not rooms.
As always, seasonal changes are a great time to think about getting a professional home energy audit to see where you can maximize energy savings in your home. You can save 5%-30% on your energy bill by making the recommended upgrades following an assessment.
Once you are finished decorating sit back, admire your festive home, and enjoy the energy savings!