Managing monthly bills is hard enough, but what happens when those bills go up during one of the most expensive times of the year?
Due to the increasing use of heating systems, electric blankets, Christmas decorations and holiday baking, the average American household faces high utility costs during the winter months. While some of those costs are unavoidable, there are some hidden ways to keep energy costs down while you wait for the weather to warm up.
Keep The Heat In
Homeowners often prepare their yards and driveways for the winter season, but there’s something to be said for preparing your interior as well. Use weather stripping, caulk and other forms of home insulation to keep warm air inside your home for long periods of time. You’d be shocked to know how much warm air (that you’re paying for) escapes on a daily basis.
Add A Layer
Leaving the comfort of your home this winter will require some layers. If you’re living in an area that demands it, you already own plenty of jackets. Why don’t you wear one indoors to save some money? Wearing an extra layer in the house will allow you to reduce the energy use of your heater, or maybe you can turn it off altogether. If you need help making this easier, we recommend keeping blankets and specific warm-weather clothing around the house for exclusive indoor use. That way you can still feel clean and cozy.
Double Your Oven’s Effectiveness
There are a number of big baking holidays during the winter, so you’ll be dealing with increased energy costs to operate your oven. Lessen the blow by leaving the oven door open after use. The excess heat from the oven will move into your kitchen and heat up your home. It’s like you’re recycling the heat you used for the cookies you baked!
Heating your entire home can be an expensive ordeal, especially if you’re not using every room. If there are rooms that people don’t spend much time in, you can close the vents in that room to save you money in the long run. Once heat is better funneled into commonly used areas, you can adjust your thermostat accordingly.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Many homes use ceiling fans in the summer to keep rooms cool with free-flowing air. Instead of keeping those fans off all winter, you can reverse the direction to keep cold air near the ceiling and warm air near the ground where it can be enjoyed. Just make sure your fan is spinning clockwise in the winter, and counterclockwise in the summer!
Clean Your Vents and Furnace
Don’t wait for spring cleaning to keep your heating system running efficiently. Removing built-up dust in your furnace, vents and air filters is a proven way to save money on your heating bill. Don’t turn the heat up on your thermostat until you’re sure that your furnace is fully clean because you won’t feel the benefits.
Let The Sunshine In
As cold as it gets in the winter, the sun is still one of the most powerful tools for saving on your energy bill. Both from a light and heat perspective, the sun has plenty to offer this winter. Find parts of your home that you spend time in and figure out when the sun will hit the windows nearby. Spending time in the sunlight, even indoors, will lower your energy use and improve your mood at the same time.