Check out these 6 tips for winterizing your home and save money on your energy bills! It’s easy. Learn more from regular contributor, Megan Wild.
How to Avoid High Winter Energy Bills
With These 6 Easy Tips!
With Christmas approaching quickly, the last thing you want to deal with is high energy bills just to keep your home warm and festive for the holidays. How can you put a price on Christmas spirit through decorations, trees, and lights? It may feel priceless to you, but the power company will be cashing in on those holiday memories by charging for every kilowatt hour.
Don’t be a Grinch and take away all things Christmas — instead, look for clever ways to save money on your bill this winter.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have one already, invest in a programmable thermostat for your home and make sure you actually use it. Turn the heat down a bit when no one is home and set the thermostat to come on about an hour before you arrive so the home is warm and inviting when you walk in.
Additionally, consider turning the temperature down two to three degrees and wear comfortable lounge pants and long-sleeved shirts in the house to stay warmer. Research shows that you could save as much as ten dollars per degree on your energy bill each month.
Seal Any Leaks
The windows and doors of your home may be costing you additional heating expenses each month. You don’t want to pay to heat up the outside of your home, so why are you letting heat escape? What’s even worse is that, while you’re paying for the heat to leave your home, you’re also allowing cold air to enter, which creates a higher daily need for electricity.
The best thing you can do to reduce this problem is to seal up your windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering and hot air from escaping. To seal window and door leaks, you can use caulk and weather stripping in most cases. If the sealing materials don’t make much of a difference, it may be time to look into double-paned windows, which are more energy-efficient and less drafty.
Another tip that’s often overlooked when it comes to your doors and windows letting cold air in is something that won’t cost you any money and very little time. Lock them up! When you lock your windows and doors, they close more tightly than when they’re unlocked. The tighter closure makes them push against the weather stripping harder, reducing the amount of cold air that comes in.
Invest in Routine Maintenance
Be sure that you’re getting your heating system serviced each year. A professional can come out and inspect your system and do any servicing it needs to keep it running efficiently all winter long.
Taking the time to do this each year not only reduces your heating bill because the heating system is more efficient, but it also may help you find heating repair needs before you end up without heat when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Just think of routine maintenance as a little insurance policy for a cozy winter at home.
Be Aware of the Fireplace
Your fireplace isn’t just an entry point for Santa this holiday season — it could also be letting in cold air and increasing your heating bill. Unless you have a fire burning, be sure to close the damper in your fireplace to prevent cold air from coming in full-force.
When you have your heating system serviced each year, go ahead and call in a professional to inspect your fireplace and clean and seal it if necessary. The professional will know which areas cause the most drafts and how to seal them without endangering your family.
Modernize Your Christmas Lights
You may think you save a little money by using the same lights each year and just replacing a bulb here and there, but are you really? If you’re using standard Christmas lights that have been around for decades, you could be using more power than you actually need to make your home look beautiful.
Throw those lights out and invest in some LED holiday lights that are Energy Star qualified to reduce your power consumption. Energy Star-Certified lights use 75% less energy than your traditional incandescent lights, are cool to the touch and are known to last as much as 10 times longer than traditional lights.
These lights are more expensive, but the investment will pay off when you look at your power bill in January.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
You may think that your ceiling fan is just something handy to have in the summer to keep air moving in your home, but that’s not entirely true. In the winter months, you should flip the switch on your ceiling fan to have the blades turn clockwise. The blades will produce an updraft, forcing the warmer air at the ceiling down below, making the room feel warmer.
These are just a few ways to save on your energy bills. Instead of robbing your family of those magical Christmas memories of twinkling lights and fun decorations, take a little time to put these tips into action. With the reduced costs, your wallet may just grow three sizes this month!
Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!
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