The weather outside is frightful. And so is your energy bill. But this seasonal bill shock can be eliminated by taking control of your energy consumption and making a few changes to your home. In a previous post, we discussed conserving energy during the summer months and many of the same rules apply to the cold wintry months.
Here are 5 cost-saving tips to consider while you snuggle up for the winter:
1. Eliminate Air Leaks
One of the major reasons for high energy bills is air leakage. Here are some tips on how to reduce leakage:
Use caulk to make sure that none of your warm air is escaping through the windows.
Install door sweeps and weather strips to keep that cold air out.
Check the attic and air ducts for leaks to ensure less energy waste.
Finally, you may also consider getting an energy audit to identify which areas are less efficient.
2. Heat Smarter
Another way to keep your energy consumption low is to heat selectively. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year by dialing your thermostat back 7-10 degrees.
Adjust your thermostat during the day when you are away at work or asleep for the night. One solution is to install a smart thermostat in your home that you can control via smartphone. You can use automation or programmable features so your house warms up while you are on your commute. This will also give you greater understanding and management of your home energy.
Don’t heat certain rooms if you don’t use them much. Maybe your guest room or basement are vacant during the winter months, why not save energy and turn those heaters off?
3. Keep Air Flowing
When you are awake and at home, you should make sure your heater is flowing correctly. Make sure that no vents are being blocked by furniture or appliances.
Remember: Warm air rises, so set your fans on reverse to push that sneaky warm air back to you and your family.
Though this rule applies throughout the year, it is paramount that you unplug appliances that are not being used during the winter as well. Computers or electronics that are connected to an outlet use phantom energy even when not being used. So unplug your charged phone from the wall, invest in a few power strips and save energy!
5. Have a Plan
Being on the right energy plan for your home will give you a peace of mind in knowing that there are no surprises in your monthly rate. Many companies offer a fixed rate for services that will provide consistent pricing throughout the season.
If you follow these simple tips to reduce your energy consumption, you can have an energy-efficient and stress-free winter and won’t need to worry about high energy bills.