Kansas honors Energy Efficiency Day as cold weather approaches

FILE(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:00 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas will honor Energy Efficiency Day as cold weather approaches on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

The Kansas Corporation Commission says that Wednesday, Oct. 5, has been dubbed Kansas Energy Efficiency Day as Governor Laura Kelly signs a proclamation to join hundreds of local and state governments in the national day of awareness.

As cold weather approaches, the KCC said it wants to remind residents that this is the time to winterize homes and businesses. It said there are many no to low-cost ways to save energy and utility costs. For larger projects, it said funding is available to those who qualify.

The Commission indicated that those who need help with weatherization costs can contact the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. It said income-eligible homes will receive a comprehensive home energy audit to identify inefficiencies. Services and upgrades will be provided for free.

The KCC said help is also available for small business owners in towns with a population of less than 50,000 and agricultural producers. It said its Energy Office and the Kansas State University Engineering Extension offer a free energy assessment as well as help to apply for a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant to help pay for improvements.

Since 2016, the KCC said more than $1 million has been awarded to pay for energy-saving upgrades in Kansas.

In observance of the day, the KCC gave the following tips to help Kansans save energy:

  • Set back the thermostat - Lowering your thermostat setting can substantially reduce heating costs. The Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature to 68 degrees in the winter. To save even more, install a programmable thermostat. Schedule lower temperatures when you are away or asleep and increase temperatures when you are returning home or waking up.
  • Change or clean furnace filters monthly - It is important to clean or change furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down airflow, making the system work harder to keep you warm and will cost you more money.
  • Schedule an annual tune-up - Consider getting a winter tune-up for your HVAC system. Just as a tune-up of your car can improve gas mileage, a tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, saving you money.
  • Check and replace weather stripping and seal leaks - Air leaks and faulty weather stripping on doors and windows not only make your home drafty, but they also increase heating costs. By caulking leaks and replacing old weather stripping, you can save 10-20% on heating bills.
  • Let the sunshine in - Open blinds and curtains on the west and south-facing windows during the day to allow the sun to naturally heat your home, and save 2% to 12%.
  • Lower the thermostat set point on your water heater - Keep the water temperature at about 120 degrees to save money year-round.
  • Reduce hot water use - A washing machine spends 90% of its energy heating water. Consider using cold water instead and run full loads whenever possible because the machine uses roughly the same amount of energy regardless of load size.
  • Air dry dishes - Avoid the “rinse hold” cycle and skip heated drying – simply open the door at the end of the cycle and let dishes air dry.
  • Reverse direction on ceiling fans - In the summer ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down and producing a slight wind chill effect, allowing you to feel cooler. However, most ceiling fans have a reverse switch that will enable them to turn clockwise, producing an updraft and moving the warm air that collects near your ceiling down into the rest of the room.
  • Make the switch to LED - LEDs last at least 25 times longer and consume up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. By switching five of your home’s most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs, it’s possible to save $75 on energy costs annually.