The arrival of the colder months usually brings high energy bills for homeowners. Living in the Midwest often means unpredictable and possibly harsh winters, so heating your home can be just as expensive as cooling it in the summer. If fact, it can often be more expensive. One reason for this is that many people are at home more during the winter months, which can drive up energy use and increase your monthly bills. Add shorter days and longer nights, along with a string of holiday gatherings, and it’s easy to see how you could use more energy than during other times of the year. It’s important to save electricity in winter to lower your bills. Luckily, there are several ways to conserve energy when the temperature drops, including the 7 suggestions below from our experts at Academy Air.
Insulate Your Pipes & Water Heater
The pipes that deliver hot water to your home’s faucets, showers, and appliances can leak energy. You could be losing a lot of heat depending on how far the water has to travel. Insulating hot water pipes can raise the water temperature by 2°F-4°F. Aside from delivering hotter water, insulated pipes reduce the amount of time you have to run the water while waiting for it to get hot enough to take a shower or wash your hands.
To save even more money, think about adding a hot water heater blanket, which is a layer of insulation that wraps around the hot water tank. It helps to keep more heat in and reduces the need for the heating element to run as frequently.
Weatherstrip Your Windows & Doors
Sealing out drafts is a good place to start if you’re wondering how to save money on your winter electric bill. Your doors and windows may leak more heat than you realize, but you can stop it by wrapping them in weatherstripping. Door sweeps also help to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the door frame. Even draft stoppers can provide some protection from the winter elements. If you want assistance or advice with weatherstripping, contact our experts at Academy Air for their excellent services.
Don’t Block the Air Vents & Close the Damper
If you have furniture or drapes blocking your heating vents, you are forcing your furnace to work harder than it needs to. Blocked vents increase ductwork air pressure, which can cause cracks and leaks. Clearing your vents ensures that every room in your home receives adequate ventilation and that your system operates as intended. If a piece of furniture is blocking a vent, use an inexpensive vent extender to direct air out into the room.
Relaxing in front of a warm fireplace can be a wonderful way to end a cold day, but if you forget to close the damper when you’re no longer using the fireplace, heat may escape up the chimney. In the winter, you can also save electricity by installing a more efficient fireplace and switching from wood to gas.
Switch to a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a cutting-edge way to save energy during the winter. Savings from programmable thermostats result from the ability to fine-tune and optimize when your furnace runs. You can program the thermostat to decrease the temperature while you’re sleeping or away, and then raise it just before you return home at the end of the day. You can cut your winter electric bill without sacrificing comfort. Reach out to our professionals today for our superior heating services and we’ll help you install and set up your new thermostat so your home runs more efficiently. We want you to be comfortable all winter long.
Only Wash Full Loads of Laundry
One of the most basic energy-saving laundry tips is to always run full loads whenever possible. Running small, partial loads of laundry uses up the same amount of energy as running a full load. With multiple loads, you’ll end up using more power and water. A better approach is to only run your machine when it is fully loaded. You’ll use less hot water and run your washer and dryer less frequently. When added up, this can result in savings.
Unplug Electronics & Put Holiday Lights on a Timer
Many electronics and appliances consume energy even when they are turned off. Devices that use a remote control are the main culprits because they are constantly in standby mode. Desktop computers and displays, printers, televisions, microwaves, and video game consoles are also common energy suckers. Unplugging these devices when not in use can help you save energy. It is also a waste of energy to leave your holiday lights on all night, but you may not always remember to turn them off or want to go out in the cold to do so. If you use smart plugs or timers to set up your holiday lights, you can program them to turn on and off when you want them to, eliminating a source of energy waste during the winter holidays.
Turn Down the Thermostat & Let the Sun in During the Day
Turning down the thermostat is another way to save money in the winter. Experts advise lowering your thermostat a few degrees during the day and even more at night. Turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F for just 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% on your heating bill. Wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat if you’re feeling chilly. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can help to heat up a room. This winter, strategically opening and closing drapes can help you save money on your energy bill. When the sun shines in, open the drapes and close them when it gets dark to prevent drafts and slow heat loss through the glass.
When you save electricity in the winter, you help the environment while also lowering your utility bill. If you live in the Midwest with harsh winters, investing in energy-saving measures can help you save money. Call our office today at (314) 377-7058 to learn more. Our excellent tips and services will help you stay comfortable this winter while also lowering your energy bills and improving the efficiency of your home.