How to Hack Your Electric Bill During Wintertime
As winter blankets the world in frosty temperatures, it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat and indulge in the warmth of our homes. However, with the drop in temperature comes a rise in electric bills. Fortunately, there are practical and cost-effective ways to keep your home cozy without breaking the bank. Here are five tips to help you maintain a warm and energy-efficient home during the winter months.
Avoid Space Heaters and Embrace Sunlight:
As solar consultants, and therefore energy consultants, we constantly see small space heaters driving electric bills up considerably. Let’s put it this way – just one 1,500 watt space heater running 8 hours costs about $2 per day. That’s a whopping $50-60 per month. And that’s just for one heater – it’s a shocker, we know. If you can help it, avoid running space heaters; or at the very least keep them at a minimum if you want to save big on those electric bills.
Now, avoiding your space heaters is also no reason to freeze to death. While winter days may be shorter, take advantage of the sunlight to naturally warm your home. During the day, open curtains and blinds to let the sun’s rays in. This passive heating can make a noticeable difference in your indoor temperature, reducing the reliance on your heating system. As evening falls, close the curtains to trap the warmth and keep the cold air out.
Seal the Leaks:
One of the primary reasons for high energy bills in the winter is heat loss through drafts and leaks. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home for any gaps or openings in windows, doors, and walls. Seal these leaks using weather stripping, caulking, or draft stoppers. Not only does this keep the cold air out, but it also ensures that the warm air generated by your heating system stays inside, reducing the need for constant heating.
This goes for fireplace flues too. If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when not in use to prevent warm air from escaping.
Maintain Heating Systems:
Regular maintenance of your heating system is crucial for efficiency and cost savings. If you’ve ever pulled out an air filter of your HVAC system and it looks like the inside of your vacuum cleaner, you know what we mean. Heating your home with a clogged filter is like asking your HVAC system to go for a run with a gas mask on. Replacing or clean air filters monthly ensures optimal airflow and reduces the strain on your HVAC system.
Optimize Your Thermostat:
Take control of your heating expenses by optimizing your thermostat settings. Lower the thermostat a few degrees when you’re away or sleeping and pile on an extra blanket to compensate. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat, allowing you to schedule temperature adjustments based on your daily routine. Additionally, avoid the urge to set the thermostat too high when you’re at home – every degree lower can contribute to significant energy savings over time.
Use LED Bulbs for your Holiday Light Show:
Still using halogen bulbs for your holiday light display? Here’s a fun fact – LEDs use 85% less energy than incandescent and halogen bulbs. If you love light shows that put the Griswold’s to shame, make sure to use LED bulbs and you’ll save a fortune during the holiday season.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances:
We get it – investing in energy-efficient appliances may require an upfront cost, but the long-term savings can be substantial. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient heaters, smart thermostats. Want something that’s a little more affordable but still packs a punch? Look to LED bulbs. These upgrades not only reduce energy consumption but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly home.
As winter settles in, implementing these tips can help you strike a balance between staying warm and keeping your electric bills in check. By sealing leaks, optimizing your thermostat, harnessing natural sunlight, maintaining heating systems, and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, you’ll not only create a comfortable living space but also contribute to a more energy-conscious and environmentally friendly home. Stay cozy, save energy, and make the most of the winter season!