There are plenty of ways to prepare your home’s electricity for the winter months, but there are also plenty of ways to save money on your electric bill this winter as well! Here are just a few tips on cutting costs this season while still staying warm and cozy.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to stay warm and save money this winter is to simply bundle up. Invest in some cozy sweaters, fluffy socks, and warm blankets. You can even add an area rug to hardwood areas to keep those toes toasty! Purchase fleece or flannel bedding to keep warm at night.
The sun stays warm no matter the season, and thankfully, its rays don’t cost a thing! If you have south-facing windows, draw the curtains and open the blinds to let the natural heat in on those chilly days.
In the winter? You bet! Did you know that if your ceiling fan spins counter-clockwise it pushes hot air up? And if it spins clockwise, it pushes hot air back down! Determine whether your ceiling fans have this feature and use these tricks to your advantage all year long. If they do, turn your fan to low setting this winter to softly push hot air back down to your level.
Turn It Down.
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that “when you are asleep or out of the house, [you] turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours…[saving] around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills.”
Only Heat Certain Rooms.
If you never use the guest room or the workout room or the craft room, adjust the vents in those rooms so they’re not being unnecessarily heated. This way you’re only heating the main rooms you use, such as the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. Bathroom heating is a personal preference, but from a necessity point of view, they probably don’t need to be heated regularly either.
Clean Vents & Furnace.
This is an often-overlooked trick to not only keep your air cleaner, but to also keep your bill lower. Check your furnace filter each month and replace it when it gets dirty.
Dry air tends to feel colder, while moisture holds heat in…not to mention prevents dry skin! Invest in a simple humidifier to keep your space warmer, even when the thermostat is at a lower setting. This can save you a lot of money, and again…it’s good for your skin, too.
If you have areas in your home that are drafty, go to your local home improvement retailer and pick up some inexpensive insulation or foam weather stripping for your doors and windows. Thousands of dollars are lost every year due to poor insulation – don’t lose money when there’s a simple solution!
Use LED Lights to Decorate.
Sure, they cost a bit more up front…but they use 75% less energy and last 25% longer than incandescent lighting! That’s a win in our book. They also don’t break as easily don’t put out as much heat, so they’re much safer too. (Remember to unplug your lights before going to bed or leaving the house so they don’t use up unnecessary energy.)
Warm Up by the Fire.
This may be a given, but if you have a fireplace or woodstove in your house, use it! There are only so many months that you can bundle up by the fire with some hot cocoa and a nice book, so take advantage of it while you can.
Hopefully these money-saving tips help you stay warm this winter season, but a few safety tips should also be noted. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI):
- “More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to space heaters. Learn how to use one safely.” Check out this safety guide if you use space heaters at home or at work.
- “Heating pads and electric blankets cause almost 500 fires each year.” If you use heating pads or electric blankets regularly in the winter, see this guide on safety.
- “The winter months hold the highest risk for CO poisoning deaths. Every year over 200 people die from CO poisoning.” If your home uses gas heating, check out this safety guide to prevent CO poisoning.
We wish everyone a warm and safe winter!