The summer heat may still be sizzling, but before we know it the leaves will be changing, and the mornings will be crisp. Fall brings cooler weather, cozy blankets, and the challenge of getting everyone back into a routine. It’s time to change gears and start preparing your home for fall.
Planning for the seasonal shift doesn’t have to be stressful. Taking the time to prepare now means you can reduce stress and relax during the chilly months. To make the transition easier try these hacks to get ready in no time.
Make the most out of your online account portal.
There are many great tools to take advantage of in your online account. Here are a few that will make your life easier.
- Explore ways to save money. Explore ways to save money by checking on potential rebates, or registering for our Budget Billing program. With Budget Billing, we make your bills more predictable by averaging the amount you pay each month. That way, you can avoid spikes in your bill caused by seasonal changes in how much energy you use.
- Easily pay your bill. Making payments is a breeze in your online account. Just login and you’re able to quickly pay your bill. Better yet, set up automatic payments for one less task you to have to think about doing each month.
- Track how much energy you’re using. Take a minute to explore your energy usage. With higher-than-normal natural gas prices, anything you can do to cut usage and costs is a good thing. Do you see times when your energy usage is higher than others? You can use that info to do a little energy efficiency work around the house.
Fall into an energy efficient lifestyle.
Some things are simple, like making sure the kids aren’t stacking shoes on heating vents and leaving the front door slightly ajar. Here are more ways to be more mindful of your energy usage.
- Prepare your meals ahead of time. With busy back to school and work schedules, it might seem more convenient to grab lunch during your break, or send your children with money to buy lunch at school. Making your meals ahead of time can save time and money, reduce stress and confusion over what to make, and minimize food waste.
- Get a furnace inspection. Fall is a great time to sign up for a furnace inspection to make sure your appliance is running efficiently. See if you’re eligible for Service Guard. Get peace of mind knowing that if your selected appliances stop functioning, you’re covered.
- Seal around leaky windows and doors. Home insulation and weatherization is vital for saving energy in your home by ensuring there are no air leaks in your home. Your heating system will work overtime if warm air is escaping from any cracks or broken seals. To learn how to properly seal and insulate, follow this guide.
- Replace lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs. LED bulbs use about 20-25 percent of the energy in your home, and lasts up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Use a smart thermostat. Watch this video for recommendations on how you can save energy and money when using a programmable thermostat. Read more here.
Don’t forget your yard.
Fall is a great time to take care of your yard and plant a tree to reduce energy consumption. as we move from one season to the next, don’t forget to give your yard a little tender loving care.
- Cut back flowers like lilies, columbine, peony, and hostas. Don’t go too crazy with those scissors, though. Some perennials, including echinacea, sedum, cosmos, and zinnias, should NOT be cut back. Check out this list for more on which perennials need a haircut and which don’t.
- Rake up leaves. No, this isn’t simply an aesthetic thing. Untended leaves could potentially smother your lawn which you most definitely don’t want. So, get raking and use those leaves in your compost pile.
- Cut your grass short. Gradually lower your mower cutting deck as you cut your lawn in the months leading to winter. Shorter grass keeps the critters from making your lawn a winter home.
- Plant bulbs for a spring bloom. This includes hyacinth, daffodils, crocus, and tulips. But before you start digging away to plant the bulbs, make sure you aren’t in danger of hitting a line or pipe.
- Remember practice safe digging. August 11 is National 811 Day, a great time to reacquaint yourself with the need to call 811 before you dig, whether for flower bulbs, trees, or a new watering system.
There you have it — your action plan for the coming fall and winter. With these few easy steps, you’ll be ready for fall and winter before you know it.
Black Hills Energy Blog
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