Winter in the northeast can be a terrifying experience at times. Back at the end of November, the New England area experienced its first nor’easter of the season — but most assuredly not its last. And unfortunately lower temperatures also mean higher energy bills. That’s why in this article we want to address five tips to help you save money on your energy bills this winter no matter where you live.
Our first tip involves your thermostat. If you live with someone else you’re likely familiar with thermostat wars where one of you wants a warmer temperature and the other wants a cooler one. And all that changing back and forth can really rack up your energy bills. But there are a couple of points to keep in mind.
The first point is, if you lower your thermostat just one degree for 24 hours you’ll save about 2% on your electric bill. Even better if you lower 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours you’ll save about 10% your bill. But the question is, when would you lower your thermostat that much? The answer is simple — while you’re sleeping! Did you know that sleeping in a cooler environment actually gives you better quality sleep? It’s a great thing to keep in mind this winter.
Our second tip involves space heaters. One strategy you might employ is to keep your entire house cool. But if you find yourself spending time in just one room in particular you can use a space heater to help keep yourself warm.
But there are two caveats to this tip. The first is to make sure that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. The second is to get a space heater unit that has an automatic shutoff should it get knocked over.
Our third tip is basic home maintenance. You want to take care of things around your house that might be causing you to have higher energy bills. You’ll want to keep your chimney closed when you’re not using your fireplace. You’ll want to seal up any and all ductwork to make sure that hot air doesn’t escape. And finally you’ll want to clean your vents and either clean or replace your air filters. These tasks are often overlooked by homeowners.
Our fourth tip involves taking care of all the drafts in your house. Drafts actually account for about 30% of energy use in your home. Common places to find these are around doors and windows so you may want to change your weather stripping or seal up any cracks that you find. Another good place to check is where the pipes come in to your house because that area is especially prone to letting cold air in. So you really want to make sure those are well insulated.
Our fifth and final tip is to make sure that all of the pipes in your home are well insulated. This is particularly important this time of year. Busted pipes are not only common but very costly. Investing in new and proper insulation will go a long way to keeping those pipes from breaking.
You also want to make sure that you keep your house at a mild temperature because anything too cold can facilitate them breaking. The ideal temperature is around the low to mid 60’s.