Winter Energy Saving Tips
In this article you will find some of the best winter energy saving tips. Learn how to slash your utility bill this winter by learning these top winter energy saving tips!
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19 Awesome Winter Energy Saving Tips
When the winter comes along, it can make a big difference to your wallet to know how to save energy so you can save money on your electric bill. During the winter months in particular, your utility bill can really put a dent in your checking account. And especially if you have a very large or a very old home, you could be spending $300 or $400 per month or more (like we once were) to heat your home during the coldest months of the season.
I know that’s money you would rather be spending on other things! So read on to learn how you can save energy in order to save money on your monthly electric and gas bill.
1. Turn down your furnace to save energy during winter.
One of the easiest winter energy saving tips to follow (and doing so is free!) in order to save money on your utilities is to turn down your furnace during the winter. And it is also the winter energy saving tip that will could save you the most money. To be most energy efficient, set your furnace at 62 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) or lower during the winter.
I have read that for every degree cooler you keep the thermostat you can save up to 3 percent on your energy bill. So if you will keep the thermostat at the recommended 62 degrees Fahrenheit, you could save almost 20 percent on your heat bill versus keeping it at the more common 68 degrees.
Keeping the thermostat on a more economical setting may mean wearing warmer clothes inside during the winter. In our home, we also keep blankets near each of our couches in our front room, and that is an easy way to stay warmer as well. It may mean being just a little bit uncomfortable some of the time. But you’ll sure notice a difference on your monthly utility bill as you are able to save energy!
2. Consider using space heaters in high-use areas.
If you have a larger home, it may be more economical during the day to use space heaters in just the rooms that you are in at any given time so that you can keep the thermostat set at a lower temperature for the rest of the home. We did this is our last home, which was about 1,000 square feet larger than this one, and it helped us lower our $400 a month winter energy bill to less than $200 a month.
3. Give your furnace a tune-up and replace the filters regularly to save energy.
To keep your furnace running efficiently, have it tuned up and maintained regularly, and replace the filters as needed (for many furnaces, once a month is recommended).
4. Buy a programmable thermostat to save energy.
Another big way to save money on your electric and gas bill is to buy and use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can give you a good return on your money spent because they allow you to effortlessly set the thermostat lower when you’re sleeping or away from your home while at work or even on vacation (if you’ll return on a weekend day, for example, when you might have the thermostat set differently than you would for a weekday).
5. Install ceiling fans throughout your home to save energy.
Install ceiling fans throughout your home to help keep heating bills down. Ceiling fans will help keep your home warmer in the winter by pushing the warm air (which tends to rise) down.
6. Replace old windows and doors to save energy.
If you have old windows (especially if they are single pane) or drafty doors and are in a home you own and plan to stay in for very long, it will likely be worth it to replace them.
When we’ve replaced the windows for both of our homes (and the doors in one of our homes), we have found a contractor on Craigslist in order to save money on the installation, so look into that option in addition to Googling local installers.
7. Add insulation.
If you have any areas in your home that are poorly insulated, replace or add more insulation. For example, we had more insulation added to our attic a couple of years ago. And the gas company actually did it for free as part of an initiative they were doing in the city to increase energy efficiency among utility users. So look into such opportunities, and if you have them available, take advantage of them!
8. Use heavier curtains and blinds to help keep in the heat.
Another winter energy saving tip is to use thicker curtains to help prevent heat loss through your windows. At night and during the day for windows that aren’t in direct sunlight, keep the curtains or blinds closed.
If you want to get really intense, you might even try this trick we did while I was in college: we would tack up blankets over our windows during the winter. I had some pretty frugal roommates, and so they asked us to turn the furnace off at night except when it was cold enough we were afraid that pipes might freeze. I kept grabbing more blankets every time I would go home for the weekend. But we survived! Good times! And I’m sure it helped build character. 🙂
In our last home, we also put plastic covering over our windows before we replaced them with new, double pane windows, so that is another winter energy saving tip.
9. Turn down the thermostat and use more blankets at night.
Another simple winter energy saving tip is to use more blankets at night. If you can drop the thermostat down to 60 degrees or lower (like we used to before we had kids!) for the night, you can save a lot of money over the winter season.
10. Use an electric blanket.
Another way you can potentially save money on energy during the winter is to use an electric blanket at night. Though that of course uses some energy, if it keeps you warm enough that you can drop the furnace thermostat and keep your whole home at a lower temperature, you could come out way ahead. (And I have to admit—I just love heating blankets! They’re so cozy!)
11. Use a humidifier.
Another simple winter energy saving tip is to use a humidifier. By adding moisture to the air, a humidifier helps the air hold heat better. I love the cozy, warm feeling when using a humidifier!
12. Turn down your water heater and put an insulating blanket around it.
To save money heating your water during the winter, buy an insulating blanket and put it around your water heater. And turn down the water heater. To save energy, set it at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (about 49 degrees Celsius) or lower.
13. Close air vents in rooms you aren’t using.
If you have guest bedrooms, storage rooms, or other areas that you don’t use often, close the air vents in those rooms to save energy.
14. Close off rooms or areas in your home that you are’t using.
Similar to the idea just above, in addition to closing the air vents in unused rooms, close off the rooms themselves by keeping the doors closed or by hanging blankets over the doorways if there is no door.
15. Add or replace weather stripping around doors and caulk around windows.
Another of the many relatively inexpensive things you can do around your home to improve its energy efficiency is to caulk around your windows and put new weather stripping around your doors.
16. Turn off Christmas lights at night and consider getting LED Christmas lights.
To save money on your Christmas lights, turn them off at night before you go to bed. And if you are ready to make a little bit of an investment, replace your Christmas lights with LED lights. That will cost a chunk of change up front, but you can save 75 percent or more of the cost of running the lights.
17. Consider heating your home with wood or coal (if you can get it for cheap or free!).
If you can find wood or coal for a good price, or even better, for free, then look at the option of heating your home with one of these fuels. We do not have a fireplace, but in our area I do sometimes see signs for free firewood. So if you have a fireplace, watch for these kinds of opportunities. I know one family who was able to save a lot of money by using free firewood that other people were just giving away.
18. Warm up with hot cocoa, hot milk, wassail, hot Tang, or a similar drink.
I know sometimes in the winter evenings I feel a little cool, even when I have a sweater on. And so I will sometimes turn up the thermostat a degree or two or three. But another thing that you can do and that I have sometimes done, instead of cranking up the thermostat, is to make some hot cocoa, hot milk, wassail, hot Tang, or even a drink made out of sugar-free gelatin (flavor of your choice; I know that probably sounds weird, but it is actually pretty good!).
If you can warm up by drinking a warm drink and it keeps you from turning up the thermostat until you go to bed, that savings can definitely add up!
19. Use a heating pad to get warmed up.
This tip is a good energy-saving tip for the same reason that using an energy-efficient space heater in select rooms can be. And I have done this one too! Instead of, again, cranking up the thermostat, get your heating pad and put a towel or light blanket around it, and then put it behind your back or under your seat (that is, your hind end).
Running your heating pad is really cheap (comparatively)—much cheaper than running a space heater or turning up the thermostat. And it can potentially warm you up more quickly, too! I have had the same heating pad for years, and it keeps on going, even though I have used it to warm up and not just for the occasional earache or sore muscles or similar thing. 🙂
Utility bills are the kind of bills I like the least—because you spend the money on something intangible; in a sense there isn’t much to show for your hard-earned money now being gone. What I mean is, you have nothing cool (beyond temperatures, I guess; no pun intended) to show for all that money you spent. Not even fun memories, like with an awesome family vacation.
So though I know it’s a necessary evil to spend money on the power bill and the gas bill, that doesn’t make me want to spend my money on it! 🙂 So whenever I can save energy during the winter to reduce my spending in this area, I do. And with the tips above, I hope you are able to save energy this winter—and therefore money—as well.
What do you do to save money on energy during the winter? What is your top winter energy-saving tip or hack? I would love to learn from you! Leave a comment below and let us know even more winter energy saving tips!
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