10 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Winter
Heating your home in regions with extreme temperature shifts like Minnesota, can be among the more expensive components of your utility bill. Luckily, making some easy adjustments in your home can dramatically reduce your energy bill.
Here are ten tips to reduce energy consumption and maintain a comfortable temperature in your home this winter.
Whichever the climate, the sun should be the focus of temperature control in your home. During the winter, open your curtains on the south-facing windows during the day, to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. When the sun goes down, close your window coverings to keep the heat inside.
2.) Cover drafty windows
Putting a clear plastic film over a window is almost equivalent to adding an extra pane of glass on the window. Clear plastic film on your window is known to stop drafts retaining up to 50 percent of your home’s heat, and prevents condensation.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat in homes without proper insulation during the winter. The Energy Department estimates that you can reduce heating needs up to 30 percent by properly insulating and weatherizing your home. The most common places heat escapes your home include: access hatches, fireplaces, electric outlets, ducts, plumbing penetrations, windows, and doors. Therefore, have these areas properly inspected and insulate where needed.
4.) Adjust the thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for eight hours. So when you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat down keeping your home at a cooler temperature. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to adjust the temperature of your home at designated times.
5.) Maintain your heating systems
Keeping your furnace and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Keep your heat registers clear and check your furnace filter monthly, replacing it when it gets dirty.
6.) Only heat the rooms you use
If you have rooms that you never use, close and seal off vents in those rooms to be more energy efficient and direct the flow of air to the rooms you occupy most. Also, avoid heating areas of your home that are not insulated.
7.) Use your ceiling fan
Homes that have better ventilation and airflow can be more energy efficient. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow and circulate heat. Since hot air rises, run your ceiling fan in reverse to push air downward. This will heat a room more evenly and ease the effort your heater needs to keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
8.) Lower your water heating costs
Check to see what temperature your hot water heater is currently set at. If the setting is high, turn the temperature down to a warm setting of 120°F. You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid the risk of burns.
9.) Minimize the use of kitchen and bathroom fans
Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your home. Therefore, use exhaust fans sparingly, and shut them off when you are done.
10.) Bundle up
This is one of the easiest ways to save on your heating bill. Instead of turning your thermostat up, put on a few layers with a cozy sweater and some slippers. If you’re relaxing on the couch, cover-up in a warm blanket, and sip on a hot beverage. You’ll be warm in no time.
“The easiest way to save money is to waste less energy” - Barack Obama
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