Saving energy in the winter doesn’t have to cost you a lot of time and money. These simple tasks will have a big impact on your utility bills.
- Lower the thermostat. Fifty-five percent of your utility bill goes toward heating and cooling your home. So, the easiest way to slash your utility bill in the winter is to lower the temperature to 68 degrees. Then the heater won’t turn on unless it reaches 68 degrees inside — and that could take a while!
- Wear warm clothes. If you’re lowering your thermostat, it’ll reduce your utility bills, but it’ll also leave you feeling cool! Grab an extra sweater or curl up on the couch and throw on a blanket — you’ll feel cozy and won’t notice the temperature drop so much!
- Take advantage of the sun. Open curtains or blinds on sunny days and close them at night. This lets the solar heat enter your home and it warms things up while it can.
- Manage your fireplace damper. Your fireplace damper serves two functions: it lets in air to help build the fire (and vent soot and smoke through the chimney), and it keeps warm air inside your home. Keep the damper open when you use the fireplace, but keep it shut when the fireplace isn’t in use.
- Use ceiling fans. Changing your ceiling fans to the clockwise position will push the hot air (that rises) back down into the room to make you more comfortable.
Have a little money to spend on home efficiency? Here’s how to get the best bang for your buck!
- Window insulation kit. If you have obsolete windows that aren’t energy-efficient, add a thin layer of plastic inside your home and shrink-warp it with a blow dryer so it’s almost invisible. Window kits are easy to install, and make saving money easy!
- Caulk. Seal up any cracks around your home’s exterior, especially where one type of service meets another, like a window frame meeting your siding. Cracks routinely form in these areas and caulk should be applied as the seasons change.
- Weatherstripping. Applying weatherstripping around windows and doors may seem minor, but it is important! Just applying a simple self-adhesive strip (or one that tucks into your window and door casings), can save you energy all year long.
- Socket sealers. Take off your electrical outlet covers on outside walls and put a buffer between the cold air and your home’s interior. Socket sealers are one of the most overlooked places to save energy!