If you’re looking for ways you can use less energy this winter and save money on your electric bill compared to previous years, here are some simple tips to get you started.
- By adding insulation to attics, floors, crawl spaces and basement joists, you can reduce your heating costs by 20%.
- Use caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps and plastic to seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows, fireplaces and places where you have pipes or electrical conduits that go through walls, ceilings or floors. You’ll keep hot air inside and cold air outside which will keep your heating and cooling bills down.
- Keep the drapes and shades on your south-facing windows of your home open during the day to take advantage of the natural heat of sunlight and close them in the evening to reduce the chill. Closing the drapes at night will prevent approximately 10 to 25% of your home’s heat from going right out the window, literally.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control your home’s temperature on a predetermined schedule and save money by using less energy when you’re asleep or away.
- Turn your thermostat down. For every degree the thermostat is dialed down you can save 1-3% percent on heating costs.
- Replace your incandescent bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs. CFLs are 75% more energy efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Replace your old or worn out appliances with new ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances. They use 10-50% less energy than standard models and help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Update your home with ENERGY STAR qualified windows. They will reduce energy costs, enhance your comfort and protect your interior furnishings from fading.
- Finally consider going “tankless”. Heating water is the third largest energy expense in your home. Tankless water heaters can reduce this expense by 30-70%.
It’s going to be a brutal winter. And your energy bills are going to be brutal as well. But if you follow these tips, your bank account doesn’t have to suffer as much as it has in year’s past.
Stay warm this winter! And stay smart when it comes to conserving energy.