Cold weather can test your home’s efficiency and, sometimes, significantly impact your wallet. Instead of giving in to higher energy bills, try these five tips to stay warmer this winter.
Programming your thermostat to let the temperature drop a bit while you’re away and heat up when you return is an easy way to save big on heating bills.
Let the light shine
Draw back curtains and blinds during the day to allow the sun to come in. A sunny day, even a cold one, will heat up rooms a few degrees.
Ceiling fans don’t necessarily need to be off during colder months. If you flip the directional switch on your fan and choose a low speed it will push the naturally rising hot air in your home back down.
Mind the gaps
Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps and openings. Replace broken glass, framing and caulk where necessary.
Close it up
If you spend more time in some rooms than others, simply close doors to trap the heat. Additionally, if there are rooms you don’t use, shut doors and vents to redirect heat.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is not only great for the environment, but can also contribute to substantial savings in the long run. Here are some small changes you can make throughout your home to help lower your energy bills:
* Turn off the thermostat When away from home, avoid keeping your thermostat on. When home, adjust it in small increments to reach your desired temperature. Even better, open windows and use ceiling fans or space heaters to cool or warm your home.
* Switch your light bulbs
Switch the lightbulbs in your home to more energy efficient ones (think CFL and LED bulbs). Not sure which ones to choose? Check out our helpful light bulb guide here.
* Clean and replace filters once a month
Clean filters allow systems to run more efficiently and for shorter periods of time.
* Keep a full refrigerator and freezer A full refrigerator unit will operate the most properly and efficiently. On the other hand, be sure not to overcrowd it.
* Keep your oven and stovetop clean Regularly cleaning your oven and stovetop will enable them to run more efficiently.
* Run your dishwasher when it’s full Running your dishwasher for a full load every time is the most efficient use of the appliance. In addition, use the lowest temperature dry cycle if you prefer not to air-dry your dishes. Heated drying is not always needed and can even damage plasticware.
* Use power strips/surge protectors Cords that remain plugged in while not in use still expend energy in standby mode. Feeding them all into a power strip makes it easier to switch them all off at once instead of keeping them on standby. In addition, it also protects your electronic devices from unsafe voltage spikes.
* Turn off lights
When leaving your home, turn off all lights. When at home, turn off lights in any room not being used.
* Mind the gaps Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and openings. Replace broken glass, framing and caulk where necessary.
* Purchase wisely When purchasing appliances such as computers and dishwashers, be on the lookout for the “Energy Star” logo denoting high-efficiency. Many newer appliances are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to be more efficient than older ones.