Tips to Help You Save on Energy This Winter
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Read Time: 4 mins
Updated December 16, 2020
Winter is coming! For most of us, this usually means spending more time indoors. Unfortunately, it also means a higher energy bill because we're cranking up the heat to keep us warm and comfortable. The energy bill is one of the biggest household expenses, and it could significantly impact the budget. With the weather taking a turn to the colder side, you probably want to do all you can to save on your heating bill. Let's look at these easy-to-do, inexpensive ways to cut your heating cost to help save money.
Seal and Insulate.
Having a well-insulated house will help reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. According to the U.S. Energy Department, air leaks are major sources of energy loss in a home. To help save on energy costs, check for air leaks around windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, air ducts, switches, utility access, and attic entrance. Also, check the crawlspace, basement, walls, and floors. Once you’ve identified air leaks, weather-strip, caulk and insulate these areas to seal and stop the leaks. By doing this, you could potentially save up to 20% on your heating bill.
Now is the time to pull out your favorite throw blanket, cozy socks, warm flannel pajamas, and bundle up. The more you bundle up, the less likely you’ll need to crank up the heat. Experts suggest keeping your thermostat set at 68 degrees while you’re home during the day and 60 degrees (or below) while you sleep at night. You could potentially save you up to 5% on your heating costs.
Enjoy the sun's natural heat.
On sunny days, consider opening the curtains and letting in some sunshine. The natural light will not only brighten your home but warm it as well. Just remember to close the curtains once the sun goes down to keep the heat in. Blockout or energy-efficient curtains work best to help conserve energy and lower your heating bill. These curtains are made with a special lining to prevent heat from entering the home during the summer and winter months.
Install a smart thermostat.
Now is an excellent time to consider installing a smart thermostat if you don’t have a programmable thermostat, or if it’s time for an upgrade. A smart thermostat allows you to program it to automatically turn on the heat or air conditioning at scheduled times. With most models, you can control the settings in real-time using your smartphone or tablet, anywhere or anytime. The best times to lower the thermostat is at night while you’re sleeping and during the day when no one is home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by lowering your thermostat by seven to ten degrees, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill.
Lower your water heater.
The water heater is one of the largest energy expenses in the home. It can account for up to 12% of your energy bill. For most models, the recommended temperature to set your water heater is 120 degrees or lower to save on energy costs.
Replace your filters.
Dirty filters cause the heating and air conditioning system to work harder to reach the desired temperature. Changing your filters once a month or as recommended keeps your heating system works more efficiently, thus saving you on your heating bill.
Use your ceiling fans.
By running your ceiling fans in the winter, it can make a room feel warmer. Reversing your ceiling fan to turn clockwise will force heat downward, causing it to circulate throughout the room, leaving it feeling warmer. You can have a ten-degree difference between the ceiling and the floor. Most fans have a switch near the base to move it between “summer” and “winter” mode.
Get a humidifier.
A humidifier can be a great tool to help cut your energy costs this winter. Most of the time, its dry air heating your home. Dry air doesn’t hold the heat well, and typically it doesn’t feel as warm. The humidifier adds moisture to the dry air causing it to feel warmer. Using a humidifier and running the heating system, you can set your temperature lower and still feel comfortable.
You can save on your heating bill by making a few adjusts and practicing these inexpensive, easy-to-do tips without draining your budget during the winter months. For additional savings, check out these home maintenance tips to help prepare your home for the cold days to come.