We’re already in the middle of the winter season and you may have noticed your energy bills creeping up over the last couple months. Nobody wants to spend more money on their heating bills than they have to, and there are a bunch of ways you can cut back on your bills by making small adjustments to your home. Here are my top 5 ways to get your winter energy bill back in line and save money.
1. Wear a sweater
Yes, I’m being serious. You may want to have your house warm and toasty during this time of year but you can get used to keeping your thermostat at a lower level and wearing warmer clothes inside. Try to knock your thermostat down by a degree every other day and layering warmer clothes as you drop the temperature. Your body will begin to acclimate to the new cooler temps inside your home and soon you’ll not even notice that your thermostat is 5 or 6 degrees cooler than you kept it before. Those degrees translate into dollars saved on your energy bill, so this is the fastest and easiest way to save money on your energy bills.
2. Stop drafts
Drafts can kill the efficiency of your home heating system. Check your doors to make sure you have new weather stripping around the edges to keep cold air outside and warm air in. Look at each of your windows and feel for gaps or drafts and plug them with insulation foam or weather stripping. Eliminating drafts is a very inexpensive endeavor and will improve the efficiency of your heating system throughout the winter and into the summer months as well.
3. Take advantage of natural light
The sun can help heat your home throughout the winter so take advantage! Make sure you open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the light in. If you have south facing windows these will take in the most heat from afternoon sunshine and help keep your home warm during the day. As soon as the sun goes down close your curtains to help keep the warm air in your home. If you only have blinds, consider purchasing insulated curtains to hang during the winter months. These curtains can keep your home 2-3 degrees warmer than typical blinds so they pay for themselves in a couple winter months.
4. Use zone heating
What is zone heating you may ask? Well it’s not necessarily a fancy new heating system that will break the bank. Think about where you spend most of your time in your home during the day and adjust your heat to match those zones of the house. For example, if you spend your morning in your kitchen and living room and your afternoon in your home office then you can close the vents to our bedrooms and living rooms to refocus the heat into the spaces you actually spend your time in. When it’s time to move into new rooms of your home you can flip the vents closed in the spaces you’re leaving and open in the spaces you’re going to spend more time in.
5. Replace your filters and service your furnace
It’s a little expensive, and it’s definitely not the most fun way to spend your money, but regular service of your furnace can save you a bundle on your energy bills. Check for a local HVAC technician who can come out and make sure your furnace is working properly and that it’s well maintained. On top of improving the efficiency of your furnace, HVAC technicians can also make sure that it is vented properly and not leaking dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. You should also replace your filter at least once per season, but ideally you should replace it whenever it’s dirty. Just keeping clean filters in your furnace can dramatically improve its performance and it only costs you a couple dollars to buy the filter from a local hardware store.