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DIY tips to keep your home ahead of the game this fall

You might be basking in the warmth of these last summer days, but the cooler temps of fall and winter are rushing our way.  

It’s not all bad, though. Cooler temps bring lots of awesome things — beautiful fall nights at the football field, the holidays, sledding dates, and cozy moments in front of the fireplace. 

Rather than dread the coming fall and winter, we like to embrace the good while creating a game plan for the bad, which will likely include higher energy bills. Fortunately, by reducing your energy usage with these simple strategies, you can keep your bills lower and take steps to make a cleaner energy future

Use these tips to prepare your furnace — and your home for heating season.

  • Check the filter. Now is the perfect time to replace your furnace filter. Starting the season with a new filter will ensure proper air flow and help keep the furnace functioning well. Shoot to replace the filter every three months unless you have a lot of pet hair in your home. If that’s your situation, you’ll want to replace it more often. Read our carbon monoxide safety page for more warning signs.
  • Move clutter away from the furnace. Sometimes, when our furnace hasn’t run in a few months, we inadvertently store things around it. This is especially dangerous if the stored items are flammable. Make sure to clear away the space around your furnace. While you’re at it, check vents in your home and make sure nothing is blocking them.
  • Test your thermostat. If your thermostat has been functioning properly for your air conditioner, it’s probably ok. But it never hurts to check. Turn the thermostat to heat and make sure that everything works properly. Trust us, you don’t want to wait until your house has turned into a walk-in freezer before finding out there’s something wrong with your thermostat.
  • Get a furnace inspection. Your furnace will be hard at work once the cold arrives. Make sure it’s in peak condition with an inspection from one of our experienced techs. An efficiently operating furnace will save you in energy costs. Consider signing up for a Service Guard plan for extra peace of mind. With Service Guard, a broken appliance isn’t an emergency.  

Ready to take your DIY energy-saving’s game plan to the end zone? Here are some other ways you can step up your game. 

  • Your online portal: It’s hard to make smarter energy choices if you don’t know how your power is being used. Sign up for your online portal to track the days and times when your household is using the most energy. Then, make the needed changes. Black Hills Energy’s newly designed paper bill also offers these insights.
  • Think green: Did you know trees and shrubs can help reduce energy bills by providing shade in the summers and blocking wind during the cold, windier months? If you’ve been thinking about doing some landscaping around your house, now’s the perfect time. Just remember to call 811 before kicking off any digging projects.

These energy saving tips are just a piece of our commitment to sustainability and a cleaner energy future. We’ve set climate goals to reduce electric emissions intensity 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2040 and to reduce natural gas emissions intensity 50% by 2035. To date, we’ve seen a 30% reduction in electric emissions and 33% reduction in natural gas emissions. 

We also support the move toward EVs, offering significant rebates for electric vehicle charging equipment and installation. Read our Sustainability Report for more about our commitment to the environment.  

Now that you’ve got some DIY tips for preparing your home for colder temperatures, you can play a more active role in keeping your bills lower during the cooler months. Plus, planning now will mean more time later to curl up with a hot chocolate on that first cold, winter day knowing that you’ve done all you can to keep your family warm and your bills low. 

Black Hills Energy Blog

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