During the winter months, energy bills and utilities can skyrocket. With high demands being placed on your heat systems, furnace, and water heater, you’re setting yourself up for high energy bills. However, there are ways you can reduce your energy costs and save money. From investing in a new thermostat to checking for leaks in your windows’ seal, here are a few ways you can reduce your energy usage and save money this year.
Reading an energy bill is utterly baffling. You may see that your energy costs have gone up, but your bill can’t do much to illuminate the reasons that this may be the case. So, before you decide on any cost-saving measures, it’s important to take stock. Is it possible that you’ve developed a habit of leaving all the lights on in your house? That is absolute murder for your bills. Is your energy use high because you’re leaving all of your gadgets plugged in, even when you’re not using them? Whether you’re using your devices or not, they’re drawing some amount of power if they’re plugged in.
According to the U.S. Department of energy, your computer is the worst culprit. Unplug it when you’re not using it, and turn off your router when you don’t need it. It will certainly save you money The same goes for your kitchen appliances. Unplug your microwave and coffee maker when you’re not using them. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much you can do about your refrigerator other than investing in an energy-smart model. Another way you can reduce your energy bills during the winter is to install a programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats help you make sure you’re not heating an empty house or blasting the heater during the warmest part of the day. Use less energy and reduce your electric bill by making sure your house is heated only as much as it needs to be.
If you find that your household’s energy consumption is particularly high during the cold months, investing in solar energy may be a great idea! On a sunny day, solar panels can produce enough energy to heat your home, warm your water, and power your appliances. Plus, depending on where you live, your local department of energy or electric company may be willing to buy back whatever extra energy your solar panels create every month. Talk about a great way to increase your whole house’s energy efficiency while simultaneously saving money.
Common Problem Areas
When evaluating your inefficient home areas, it’s a common error to miss the home areas that are creating waste energy. These kinds of common household mistakes add up and cost you money. Your HVAC system is only capable of so much. If you find that your house is drafty, it could be that your energy bill is so high because your heat is escaping into crawl spaces, your attic, or even through cracks in your window insulation. Heat loss is a major contributor to high energy bills.
Homeowners should avoid this headache by having their homes inspected, especially if it’s a new home. If you’ve lived in your home for many years, it may be time to have your windows resealed, your furnace filter replaced, and your insulation checked. Your washer and dryer may also be costing you money. If your dryer hasn’t been inspected in years, you may have a build-up of lint that’s increasing the amount of time your laundry takes to dry. Your washer could be similarly inefficient. If you’re able, replace your older models with energy star approved appliances instead. Your electric bill will thank you for this change.
Winter months are already costly, between the holidays and travel. Avoid unforeseen extra expenditures by making your house as energy efficient as possible this year.