6 Tips to Lower Your Electricity Bill This Winter
Want to Save More Money This Winter? Here’s a Good Place to Start
After a hot summer’s worth of sky-high electricity bills, winter doesn’t bring much relief because what you’re no longer spending on air conditioning, you’re now spending on heating your home. And, just like in summer, there can be numerous reasons why your home might not be heating up as efficiently during the winter.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help cut down your energy use without diminishing the warmth and comfort you crave in the winter. Here are six simple tips that you can use to lower your energy bills during the cold winter months.
#1: Install a Programmable Thermostat
If your home’s HVAC system is still controlled by an old-fashioned dial thermostat, then you could be spending much more in heating costs than you need to. Replacing your old thermostat with a newer programmable thermostat will give you complete control over your home’s heating regimen and, according to ThermostatCenter.com, save you up to 20% on your energy costs.
With a programmable thermostat, you will be able to set the temperature at a lower degree during the times when you’re away at work and have it bring your home back up to temperature a half hour before you arrive home. You can also set it so it doesn’t run as much during the night when everyone is asleep.
For even greater control, you can install a smart thermostat, like Nest, Ecobee4, or Honeywell Lyric. These types of thermostats can be controlled right from an app on your smartphone, so no matter where you are in the world, if you have service, you can control the HVAC in your home.
#2: Let the Sun In
On bright, sunny days, opening up the drapes on your home’s south-facing windows and allowing the sun’s rays to enter your home will help keep it warmer. When the sun goes down at dusk, close the drapes to keep the warmth of the day inside.
#3: Replace Old Holiday Lights With LEDs
Traditional holiday string lights generate a lot of heat and heat is energy that is being wasted. For this reason, tossing out your old lights and replacing them with newer LED string lights and you will save quite a bit on the amount of energy powering your holiday decorations. In fact, according to the blog, 1000 Bulbs, LED holiday lights use 33% less electricity than traditional incandescent string lights!
#4: Find and Seal Air Leaks
A home can have several hidden sources of air leaks that in the winter can really affect how much heat escapes from the inside. Therefore, finding and sealing any air leaks in or around your home will go a long way to keeping your home’s HVAC running efficiently. Places to look for leaks include:
- Utility pipe cut-throughs, such as plumbing and gas line entry points
- Gaps around the chimney
- Unfinished spaces behind the cupboards
- Poorly sealed doors and windows
- Recessed lights in insulated ceilings
- Poorly sealed ductwork
#5: Lower Your Water Heater’s Temperature
If your electric hot water is scalding when it comes out of the tap, then the temperature is set too high on your water heater. In the winter, lowering the temperature to 120 degrees will still provide you with plenty of hot water but you’ll save on electricity because the water heater won’t be constantly kicking on just to maintain the high water temperature.
#6: Time Your Tasks Properly
From 7am to 10pm, your home is being charged peak rate for the electricity it uses. So, if you have electricity-hungry tasks, such as doing the laundry, running the dishwasher, or taking a shower, then doing them before 7am or after 10pm will help you save on your energy bill because you’ll be using the electricity during off-peak hours.
With the winter being the coldest time of year and also the time when we decorate for the holidays, a family needs to do everything it can to keep their electricity usage down because energy bills can quickly get out of control. Plus, summer will be rounding the bend sooner than later and you already know you’re going to be relying on your AC. Do what you can in winter to save on your electricity with these tips and more from Energy.gov, and you just might carry those habits come summer.