Tips to Save Money on Your Energy Bills This Winter
by Camron Hoofar
With rising inflation, many are grappling with ways to reduce every day expenses from groceries, housing, to keeping their homes warm. With rising energy prices, what’re the best ways to combat the squeeze on the budget? One way to reduce your debt, save more, and stress less is by bringing down your expenses, such as utility bills.
If you are looking for ways to reduce your debtby saving money on your energy bills, here are 10 tips that you can use this winter:
The average retail electricity prices (in U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour) from 1990 to 2020 increased from 6.57 cents to 10.66 cents. Though the change might not look too much, it can be a burden for many middle-class families and people in their early 20s and 30s.
Here are some of the tips that can help you to save money on your electricity bills:
1. Use the Latest Thermostats
One of the easiest ways to save money on your bills is by lowering your home temperature and avoid running thermostats on the high setting. Extremes like really warm and really cool can force your systems to work harder. Considering donning a few extra layers in the winter, and removing the layers in the summer.
Also consider automated timing with a smart thermostat
With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to schedule your HVAC to run less while you’re out for the day. You’ll use less energy by warming your home only while you’re in it. You can also program your digital thermostat to kick in right before family members are scheduled to come home, so that your home is warmed to a perfect temperature from the moment you walk in the door.
The latest thermostats allow you to control temperature remotely through your phone and can lower on their own when you are away or during the night. For example, Google Nest Thermostat, Honeywell Home Smart Thermostat, Amazon Smart Thermostat, etc. You’re paying extra to heat and cool your home while you’re away. Save more by automating the timing when your house is being cooled and warmed. It is a win-win situation.
Another reason for the high electricity bills are the sneaky leaks you may not notice, like the gaps or cracks in your ceilings, walls, windows, or doors. These cracks allow warm air to leak outside and are major contributing reason for a home’s loss of heat, and higher energy bills, because you’ll have to use a higher temperature to maintain the heat.
While it’s ideal to get a professional company to check for gaps that lead to heat loss, you can also start by visually inspecting these areas by yourself. By addressing these leaks, you can significantly cut back on your bills.
Also, check the basement, attic, and walls by yourself to see if they are properly insulated. Insulation helps to reduce the exchange of heat through the surface. If your home is well-insulated, less warm air will escape from your home in the cold weather. That reduces the amount of energy required for cooling and heating.
3. Use the Fireplace only When Needed
Many people tend to keep the furnace on throughout the winter season. Although it is a great way to keep your house warm, it can cost a lot. If you are looking for ways to reduce your debts by cutting down your electricity bills, turn the furnace off when it is not in use.
Also, if you keep the damper of the furnace open, it can cause cold air to enter your house. Close the damper if you are not using it. If you don’t use the furnace, you can seal the chimney flue.
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4. Check and Reset the Hot Water Heater
According to Home Work sEnergy, hot water heaters account for nearly 20% of energy usage in a home. There are ways to tackle the energy drain, however. Upon installation, most hot water heaters are factory set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while the best or optimal temperature is closer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 Celsius. This is a temperature that is comfortable and sanitary.
If you set the water heater just a little lower, it can help bring down your electricity bills by quite a margin. Consider completely turning it off when you leave your home for a vacation or go out of town for any reason.
5. Unplug Electronics that are Not in Use
Some of the appliances in our home consume energy even when you turn them off. It might seem like a small-scale consumption, but it can add up and contribute towards increasing your bills by a significant amount.
Many people don’t even realize these energy vampires are slowly draining the electricity. Unplug these devices to save money on your electricity bills! Devices that operate on standby mode, such as TVs, laptops, microwaves, printers, etc tend to draw electricity even when turned off. It will be best to unplug them when not using them.
6. Use Energy Efficient Drapes
Strategically using your drapes is an excellent way to save on electricity bills. According to ExcitingWindows.com “Draperies alone can cut heat loss by 10% in your home. Hanging them as close to the window as possible leaves very little space for cold air to seep in and warm air to escape.” Also, everything looks better in natural light. Avoid flipping light switches by strategically opening windows.
7. Go for a Utility Checkup
Have an expert drop in and review your home. A utility checkup from a professional company or your local utility can help you identify areas leading to extra energy usage and suggest improvements to bring down your electricity bills. Start by contacting your local utility and see if they offer these services free of charge.
8. Keep yourself Warm Using Blankets
Dad’s get a lot of flack for this, but really, do you have a sweater on? What about socks? The best way to keep yourself warm and cozy while keeping the thermostat at a lower setting is by using warm clothing. Use thick blanket at night to keep yourself warm at night.
9. Opt for LED Lights
The winter season brings the festival of Christmas along with it. So, if you are planning to decorate your Christmas tree and your home, make sure to choose LED lighting. LED lights are much better at conserving energy and last longer than incandescent lights.
Although their prices are slightly higher than the incandescent lights, they can make it up to you by saving you a lot of money on your electricity bills in the long run.
10. Tackle how you Launder
If you run the laundry machine on full load, you can save up on both your water and electricity.
Apart from that, you can hang clothes up to dry in the bright sunlight instead of using driers. That would help you save on electricity bills. Plus, sunlight is a good disinfectant as well.
Also, take some of the basic tips from Madde from this article:
Swapping out dryer usage for air-drying clothing can save you approximately $100 per year and 2,400 pounds of CO2 emissions. I have to pay for coin laundry so air-drying my clothes saves me $1.50 per load. I roughly do one load per week, so this saves me $78 per year. Additionally, air-drying is better for your clothing and will make it last longer.”
With the tips discussed in this piece, you can bring down and save a significant amount of money on your electricity bills. These tips are not too difficult to follow, so it is easy for you to implement them. One of the best ways to reduce your debts is by cutting down your expenses. So, if you can save money by consuming less energy, you can determine the amount you can save throughout the year.
About The Author: Camron Hoorfar is a licensed attorney with vast experience in consumer debt, litigation, bankruptcy, tax, business laws, criminal laws, and non-profit organizations. He is also the spokesperson of DebtConsolidationCare .