Warm Up to Your Winter Bills
Wintertime is right around the corner and lower temperatures are creeping up on us, and we have the energy saving tips to lower your bills.
It’s time to think about using the energy in our homes more resourcefully in the colder winter months. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than half of the energy used in a home goes to heating and/or cooling it. But fear not, because there are some ways to reduce your energy costs and increase your savings. Your pocketbook can thank us later!
Here are a few easy ways that you can save more energy:
Out with the old & in with the new…
- Install a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature when you’re not home. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer, then (depending on the season) lowering it or raising it while you’re sleeping or not at home. For each degree you lower or raise the temperature for an eight hour time period, you can save 1% on your utility bills.
- When was the last time you changed the air filter on your furnace and/or air conditioner?Replacing the filter as recommended (every 2 to 3 months) will help the unit run more efficiently.
- Consider getting rid of that old basement refrigerator. Replacing an old refrigerator can reduce energy costs. New refrigerators with the energy star rating are 20% to 40% more efficient than refrigerators purchased in 2001 or before. Also, removing that extra fridge can save around $50 to $150 a year in utility bills.
Let it flow, let it flow…
Water is a large part of your energy bill and there are many ways to enjoy a warm shower while saving $$$.
- Only washing FULL loads of clothes in cold water will help save energy.
- The dishwasher can help save $$$ too. The heat drying setting on your dishwasher uses a lot of energy, try skipping the heated dry cycle and see how much money you could save each year.
- Check the temperature of your hot water heater. Lower it to 130° to reduce energy costs can save you money every year.
- Changing your shower head and faucets to a low-flow version will cut costs. There are new options that help maintain water pressure.
Be your own handyman…
- Check your whole house for any possible drafts. Caulk windows and door frames to make sure they are air tight.
- Cushion your attic. This will save you around 30% and the average $300 investment will pay off in 3-5 years.
- Contact a professional to give your heating system a tune-up! The average cost is $75-$100 and could save you up to 10%. You will see a quick return on your investment in one heating season.
- Use your storm windows.
Lend me your ear…
- You can ask your utility company to run an energy audit on your home to find out more ways to save energy.
- Consider using a budget plan, offered through your utility company, to pay your bills. This will help spread out the cost over the year, instead of paying the seasonal spikes.
Stay warm and save more money in the process!