Winter is coming and with it come colder temperatures that can impact your energy bill. If you are wanting to save some money or lower your carbon footprint, here are some ways to save on energy costs this winter.
When you leave for work in the morning, turn down the heat!
Turning down the thermostat from 72 degrees to 68 for 8 hours can save as much as 10% on your heating bill. When you are home, maximize the heat in the rooms that you are using. If there are guest rooms or storage rooms that are not being used, reduce the air dampers slightly to redirect the airflow. You could save up to $200 a year.
Consider upgrading your thermostat
Programmable thermostats have many benefits and are cheaper than ever to install. They can cut your heating bill by 10% and cooling by 15%.
Ceiling fans are not just for summer time refreshment
Use them to your advantage this winter to achieve better airflow. In the summertime, fans turn counterclockwise to push hot air up but turning the blades clockwise can trap heat inside. There should be a switch on the fan to change the direction of the blades.
Check the weather-stripping around the doors and windows of the exterior of the house
This can wear and tear over time and should be replaced every few years. 7 to 12% of a home’s heat loss occurs around windows and doors. If there is torn weather-stripping or gaps you could be turning up the heat to compensate and losing money.
Inspect air ducts for leakage
You could be spending 5-25% more on your energy bill depending on how much air is leaking. Replace the air filters as well. If the air filter is dirty, the HVAC system will only have to work harder.
Pay attention to your appliances
Turn the water heater temperature down between 110-120 degrees when you are gone on vacation. Run appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine only when you are washing a full load.
Check for any blocked vents
Warm air needs a clear path so look for furniture blocking any vents.
Place a humidifier in the bedroom or common room
Cold air is very dry. Humidifiers will help hold the heat better in the room, feel warmer, and prevent sickness. House plants can also help increase humidity.