During the cold, winter months, electricity bills can soar as our homes get colder and need more heat to be comfortable, and the days grow shorter so lights are left on much longer. At the same time, wouldn’t it be nice to have a smaller electric bill during the winter – especially when there are things like Christmas and New Year’s to spend that extra money on? To help you find ways to save money however you can, here’s a list of some helpful energy conservation tips for winter.
Give them a try, and you might actually be surprised at how much you save!
All Around the House
– When spending time inside your house, wear several layers of clothing so that you won’t be tempted to keep turning up the thermostat. Let the thermostat rest at 68 degrees during the daytime, and make sure you turn it down to 55 degrees at night, when you have layers of blankets to keep you warm!
If you don’t think you’ll be able to remember when to change the thermostat, pay a few dollars to invest in a timer or thermostat box that will change according to your programmed settings.
– Only use large appliances before 4pm and after 7pm. The hours between four and seven are peak times for energy use, as people come home and make dinner, and turn on the TV to catch the news. You’ll put less of a strain on the grid by avoiding these hours, which means there will be less chance of an energy premium put on these hours in the future.
– Plug leaks! Don’t let heat escape through electrical outlets, vents, ducts, or even the chimney flue.
– Replace your furnace filter regularly, and make sure it gets regular care. You might even wrap your hot water tank with some jacket insulation to ensure the furnace isn’t working overtime to keep the water hot in a cold tank.
– After 7pm until bedtime, try using holiday lights and candles to keep the home bright. You don’t need lights on in every room, and you certainly don’t need full lights on while watching television or working on the computer. Holiday lights are often made specifically to conserve energy and will provide enough light for you to work and relax by in the evening hours.
In the Kitchen & Laundry Room
– Wait until you have a full load of dishes or laundry before using either of those appliances. Not running large appliances with a full load is wasteful and will just add needless dollars to your energy bill.
– Turn off your kitchen fan. It’s cold outside, so you don’t need it! It won’t do you any good.
– Use the cold wash cycle for your laundry, and if you absolutely must use warm water for some items, wash them by hand in the sink.
– Clean your dryer’s lint trap so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
In the Bathroom
– As great as those warm showers on a cold, winter morning are, try to get in and out faster. Shortening your showers will shorten the amount of water and energy you’re using.
– Install a showerhead with low water flow. This is good for year-round conservation.
In the Garage
– Unplug that extra fridge! You don’t need it! It’s wasting energy, and if you really want to keep things cold, turn down the heat in your garage and keep drinks by the door. It’s that simple.