Your home’s heating and cooling systems account for over half of your total energy bills and consume the most energy.
During the summer and winter months, when temperature control is used the most, your utility bills climb considerably. Winter is particularly difficult because heating expenditures are a matter of life and death. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to save money on your power bill while still feeling warm in the winter.
1. During the Day, Let the Sun Enter
The sun is a terrific source of free heat. During the day, take advantage of the greenhouse effect by opening your curtains and blinds and allowing the sun to naturally heat your home.
Unfortunately, because windows are not as well insulated as your walls, they can also be a source of heat loss. When the sun goes down, close your drapes and blinds to keep the cold out of your home. To make your windows more energy-efficient, consider investing in insulated curtains.
2. Get Rid of Drafts and Air Leaks
Air sealing your home is a simple, cost-effective, and time-consuming process. Within a year, caulking and weather-stripping will usually pay for themselves in energy savings. For cracks and openings between stationery items such as door and window frames, use caulk. Weather-stripping can be used around anything that moves, such as the door itself or the window sashes.
Windows are a key source of breezes and heat loss, especially in older homes. In the winter, wrap the frame of your windows in clear plastic cling wrap to insulate them. Window film is inexpensive, simple to install, and damage-free to remove in the spring. It can be purchased at any home improvement store or online. Insulating every window in your home will only cost a few dollars, but the savings on your heating bills will be substantial.
Doors are a common source of drafts. Check the weather-stripping and seals around the door frame if you have a drafty door. Replace any damaged or missing weather-stripping, and fix broken seals with fresh caulk.
Basement and Attic
When looking for air leaks, thoroughly inspect your attic and basement, as these areas often conceal the largest problems. Seal the minor cracks with foam or caulk. Larger holes may necessitate the installation or replacement of insulation.
Heat Leaks You Don't Expect
Drafts can come from a variety of places, including doors and windows, but there are a few others you may not have considered. Electrical outlets, light fixtures, air conditioners, and gaps in your insulation can all allow cold air to enter your home.
When a fireplace is lighted, it is a terrific method to stay warm in the winter, but when it is not in use, it can let cold air in. When you are not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed. Plug and seal the chimney flue if you don’t use your fireplace.
3. Close Doors & Vents In Vacant Rooms
Have a spare guest room that you only use when your in-laws visit? Is there a storage room? Perhaps the children are away at college. Whatever the cause, if you have a room in your house that is rarely used, you are wasting energy in the winter by heating it. Close all the doors and shut all the vents in the room. This will save you money on heating unoccupied areas.
4. Use Blankets & Clothes to Keep Warm
Warming your body is far more cost-effective than heating your home. Reduce the temperature in your home and compensate by wearing a good sweater and warm socks. A thick blanket, comforter, or duvet will keep you warm at night.
Consider purchasing a puppy sweater for your canine if you’re concerned about keeping them warm. Sweaters should not be worn by cats. Cats not only despise wearing clothes, but they also appear to have an innate aptitude to select the warmest location in the house.
5. Reset The Thermostat on Your Water Heater
Water heaters are the second most energy-intensive appliances in the home, after heating and cooling systems. Heating water consumes a lot of energy, and most people have their water heater’s thermostat set far too high.
Your water heater warms the water to a predetermined temperature and then keeps it at that temperature 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means that whether you use it or not, your water heater simply cycles on and off, constantly reheating water to that temperature. Setting your water heater’s temperature a few degrees lower will save you a few dollars on your energy costs. Unless you’re used to taking long, hot showers, you’re unlikely to notice a difference.
6. Maintain Air Circulation
Ceiling fans are well-known for keeping you cool in the summer, but did you know that they can also keep you warm in the winter?
Ceiling fans usually rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down and creating a little wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler. Most ceiling fans, however, feature a reverse switch that allows them to turn clockwise, creating an updraft and bringing heated air from near the ceiling down into the remainder of the room.
7. Turn On Space Heaters
Use a space heater if you only need to heat a small area. Because there is no heat loss through ducts or combustion, electric space heaters are a very energy-efficient method to remain warm. Space heaters are great for heating close-off places that you only use for a short time, such as your garage or that bathroom that is always colder than the rest of your house. Space heaters, on the other hand, are less efficient than a natural gas furnace or a heat pump when it comes to heating your entire home.
8. Opt for LED Lighting
Consider choosing LED lights if you are putting on an elaborate Christmas light show this holiday season. LED lights are now the most energy-efficient lighting solution. They consume 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than regular incandescent lights. Although LEDs are more expensive upfront, they are so resilient and long-lasting that your descendants could be using the same string of lights 40 years from now. Because they consume so little power, 25 strings of Christmas LEDs can be linked end-to-end without overloading a conventional wall socket.
Need some tips for planning your Christmas Light Show? See our Expert’s Guide on How to Hang Exterior Christmas Lights
9. Leave the Oven Door Ajar
It would be a waste of energy to heat the entire house with your oven. However, if you’re going to use it anyhow, there’s no use in wasting the heat. Allow the additional heat to escape and warm your kitchen by leaving the oven door cracked open after removing food from the oven.
10. Turn Down the Heat in Your Home
By lowering the temperature in your home by only a few degrees, you can save a lot of money in the long run. Reduce the temperature on your thermostat to the lowest setting that you feel comfortable.
11. Lower the Thermostat at Night
According to the US Department of Energy, setting your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save you 10% on your energy bill. When no one is home and everyone is asleep, lower the temperature.
12. Purchase a Wi-Fi Thermostat
Better still, consider investing in a smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-equipped smart thermostat automatically adjusts temperature settings in your house for maximum energy efficiency. When you are asleep or gone, these gadgets remember your habits and preferences and create a schedule that automatically changes to energy-saving temperatures.
Some states and local governments provide rebates for installing a smart thermostat, so look into any rebates or other incentives available in your area to help you save money on a new device. Check with your energy provider to see if they provide any special discounts on smart thermostats.
Savings on Your Energy Bill All Year
Saving energy isn’t simply something you do in the cold. Many of these suggestions will save you money throughout the year. In the summer, air stripping, insulated drapes, and smart thermostats work just as well as wearing a big sweater in front of a space heater. These approaches are equally effective at keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The best solution is replacing old and drafty windows and doors with energy-efficient Windows and Doors. Saving energy in the winter is a great way to save money all year. Learn more about our energy-efficient windows and doors and get an instant online price quote for your project here!
Green Eco Solutions
1740 Lynnwood Road Suite 3
Allentown, PA 18103