12 Ways to Save Energy in the Winter
Did you know heating and cooling make up more than 50 percent of energy use in homes? During the winter months, we do everything we can to stay cozy inside our homes. More times than not, we turn our heat on high, which leads to high energy bills. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on your energy bills and stay toasty warm at the same time! Read on for 12 ways to save energy in the winter:
- Install a smart thermostat: Did you know you can save as much as 10 percent per year on heating costs with a smart thermostat? This can be achieved by lowering the temperature when you’re not around during the day or at night while you’re sleeping. If you already have a smart thermostat, revisit the settings to make sure you’re saving as much energy and money as possible.
- Seal drafty doors:Something as simple as foam tape around an external door can help block out cold air. If air is coming in the bottom of the door, install an under-the-door sweep, which can cost as low as $10 per sweep.
- Use daylighting techniques:When the sun is out during the day, open your window shades or curtains to heat your home with sunlight. At night, close them to reduce heat loss.
- Seal drafty windows:Did you know that heat loss through drafty windows causes up to 30 percent of residential heating energy use? If you feel a draft around a window, caulk and weatherstrip your windows or install plastic using kits from your local hardware store. In older homes with older windows, consider replacing them with newer, more energy efficient ones, such as double-pane windows.
- Caulk any exterior gaps between windows and walls of your house:Be sure you have good insulation in exterior walls and ceilings or floors with cold spaces above or below. If you want a more thorough evaluation, you might also consider hiring a home energy professional to perform a comprehensive energy audit. These professionals can pinpoint specific solutions for your home and identify potential safety hazards.
- Close doors and/or air vents to any unused rooms:This will keep heat from escaping. If you have heating zones in unused spaces, keep the temperature down in those areas of the house. Be careful not to turn it down too low or your pipes may freeze.
- Close closet doors, kitchen vent and fireplace damper when not in use:Cover tightly or remove air conditioning units and vents. Closing all of these helps keep warm air from escaping as well.
- Move furniture away from radiators and heaters:By doing this, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home, as there are no objects in the way of your heat source.
- Set your ceiling fans to clockwise:This will push warm air back down into your living space. Be sure to turn it counterclockwise in the spring, as this pushes cool air down to the floor during the warmer months.
- Get a tune-up:Benefits of getting a furnace tune-up include increased efficiency of your system, lower energy bills, improved health and safety and decreased risk of system breakdowns. These tune ups can cost anywhere between $70-$200 or more, but will lower your energy bills in the long run.
- Dress appropriately:Putting on a warm sweater and slippers, or even sitting under a blanket rather than turning up the heat can go a long way!
- Look for alternatives:Consider a heated mattress pad, flannel sheets or use a hot water bottle as opposed to an electric blanket to save energy and money.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to lower your energy bill, switching to a renewable energy provider is a great way to save energy and money. With Green Choice Energy, residential and business customers can choose from a variety of plans that fit their budget and energy consumption needs. By committing to 100 percent renewable energy, together we are working towards a better future. Switch to Green Choice Energy today!