Now that winter is in full swing, it is an excellent time to learn about all the ways you can save on your monthly energy bills. Winter is a big season for energy usage. Things like heat, hot water, extra time spent indoors and heavier use of appliances can contribute to the heaping bill we dread at the end of each cold, winter month. But, there are things you can do to lighten the load. Check out our easy energy saving tips below.
1. Consider Energy Star Appliances
Energy efficient appliances are not only good for the environment but also good for your wallet. If it it’s time to upgrade your heating system, water heater or kitchen appliances, talk with a specialist to determine what Energy Star options are the best fit for your home and budget.
2. Use LED Lighting
LED lighting is a smart choice for using up to 85% less electricity for the same light output.
3. Program Your Thermostat
When used correctly, programmable thermostats are known to save homeowners between 10-30% on their heating and cooling bills. Always set your thermostat to automatically lower during the day when nobody is home and resume warmer temperatures in the evening to keep you and your family comfortable.
4. Change Your Filters & Get a Heating System Tune-Up
A clogged filter can cause your heating system to work harder and burn more energy. Change your filter every 3 months for maximum energy efficiency.
Another way to save big is to have a licensed HVAC contractor perform an annual heating system tune-up and inspection. When you’re system is clean – it performs more effectively, more efficiently, needs fewer repairs and will last longer.
5. Avoid Heating Uninsulated or Underused Rooms
Don’t waste your money heating rooms that aren’t insulated or go unused. Shut the doors and close all vents in these areas to prevent unintended energy use.
6. Adjust the Temperature of Your Water Heater
After heating and cooling systems, water heaters are the second highest source of energy usage in the home. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so lowering your temperature settings by even a few degrees will help you save a bundle.
7. Seal Your Windows and Doors
Warm air can easily seep out of the house allowing cold air in. Check the interior and exterior of your home for possible gaps and fill them with caulk. Consider spray foam on larger gaps when caulk is insufficient.
8. Insulate your Water Heater and Pipes
Heat can radiate out from older water heaters and waste energy, avoid this by wrapping it with an insulating jacket. Insulate the pipes that are either outdoors or in areas of your home without heat to prevent further heat loss.
This will also help to prevent your pipes from freezing, thus saving you from another hefty price tag if they were to burst.
9. Unplug Unused Electronics
Did you know even if your electronics are not on they are still using power when they are plugged in? It’s called standby power and accounts for an average of $100 a year in energy costs.
10. Snuggle Up and Utilize the Natural Heat
Layer your clothing and spring for a blanket. It is cheaper to warm yourself than increase your thermostat and warm the entire home.
11. Open the Drapes
Winter doesn’t provide much sunshine but when it does take advantage, open the drapes to allow the sun’s rays to warm your home. Though you must remember to close them in the evening for more insulation.
12. Reverse Ceiling Fans
This is a neat trick, set your fan speed to low and reverse it’s rotation to clockwise. This will push the warm rising air downwards, warming the room and assisting your HVAC system.
While the weather may be frightful your energy bill needn’t be. Try these tips out this next month with the hope of keeping comfortable in your home and your budget. You can always contact a local professional with questions concerning energy consumption and further ways you can improve your family’s energy usage. Stay safe and stay warm this season!