It’s official: winter is no longer just coming, but it’s here. You’ve probably noticed a significant jump in your electrical and home heating bill, and for a good reason. Your heating and cooling system is a pretty big energy hog and makes up almost half of your total monthly energy costs. Wintertime costs can be problematic and expensive - after all, we all need heat to survive.
Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your electric bill and heating costs while still staying cozy this winter.
- Embrace Sunlight - Sunlight is warm and beautiful, and most of all - it’s free! Open your curtains and blinds in the morning to help you take advantage of any warmth from the sun, which can naturally heat your home.
- Close Your Curtains and Blinds at Night - In contrast, you can lose more heat at night if you leave your blinds and curtains open. Closing your blinds and curtains when the set sets can help prevent the cold chill in your home that cools it down quickly. Another great option is to explore insulated curtains to maximize your windows’ energy efficiency further.
- Eliminate Drafts and Air Leaks - Ever feel a cool draft coming from a nook or cranny in your home? Your heat can be escaping, costing you a small fortune in rising electricity costs. Every fall and winter, caulk and use weatherstripping to seal cracks and openings by window or door frames. Weatherstripping is excellent for areas that move, such as doors and window sashes. Make sure to check external doors, windows, attics and basements for unexpected heat leaks.
- Close Your Vents and Doors in Unused Rooms - Have an exercise or guest room you don’t use often? Close all the vents and shut the doors to help prevent you from wasting money and heating uninhabited spaces.
- Layer Up At Home - It’s easier and more pocketbook-friendly to warm your body instead of your whole house. Keep the temperature low and wear extra layers, such as a sweatshirt and warm socks and stay warm under a comforter or blanket.
- Decrease Water Heater Thermostat - After your heating system, your hot water heater is your second highest energy sucker in your house. Remember that your hot water heater heats the water to a set temperature and then maintains it at that temperature for 24 hours, seven days a week. Ouch! Consider lowering your water temperature by a few degrees, which can save you a couple of extra dollars monthly.
- Circulating Air in Your Home - In the summer, ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, pushing down air, giving a cooling effect. However, in the winter, you can reverse switch the fans to turn clockwise, which will produce an updraft and push warm air down towards the rest of the living space.
- Space Heaters for Small Areas - If you only dwell in a small area of your home, consider heating it with a space heater. Space heaters are also great if you’re working on a garage project, want to heat a small bathroom or home office area.
- Oven Door - If you’re still baking this winter, now is the time to take advantage of the warm oven and leave the door ajar after baking. There’s no sense in letting that warm air cool off and go to waste while your range returns to room temperature.
- Lower Your House Temperature - Lowering the temperature in your house by a couple of degrees can also help lower your monthly energy bills. If you usually prefer your temperature at 72 degrees, knock it down to 70 degrees. Prefer living at 67 degrees? Decrease it to a cool 65 degrees and add an extra layer of warmth with cozy slippers.
- Turn the Heat Down When Sleeping - Humankind wasn’t meant to sleep in the sweltering heat, especially when the sun goes down. Consider lowering your temperature five to ten degrees at night and adding an extra comforter to your bed.
- Smart Thermostat - Consider purchasing a smart thermostat with wi-fi that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings for peak energy efficiency. Additionally, over time these devices learn your habits and preferences. They will work to your advantage by setting a schedule that automatically adjusts to meet energy-saving temperatures when you are away or asleep at home. Learn more about incorporating money-saving smart-friendly devices throughout your home, including a smart thermostat, with HomeSmart by Home Telecom.