Easy Ways to Keep Warm and Pay Less on Your Energy Bill this Season

 

With cold weather coming, and energy costs rising, homeowners are constantly looking for ways to cut consumption and avoid the shock when opening utility bills.Here are some easy ways to keep warm and pay less on your energy bill this season.

Insulate Your Windows

If you caulk and weatherstrip your windows, you’ll discover a couple of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to reduce leaks and drafts in cracks and gaps around window frames – saving you a noticeable amount on your bills quickly.

Caulking can be used to seal small cracks on window frames. Large or irregularly shaped ones can be filled with spray foam that expands to fill the entire space.

For insulation, you could install insulating window panels or interior storm windows, or more simply and cheaply, cover the windows with DIY plastic window film, looking like a thicker version of plastic wrap.

And of course, a good, thick (closed!) set of curtains will also help with drafts and leaks.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan’s Direction

This is an easy energy saver. If your ceiling fan is set in summer to blow air on you (perhaps saving you air-conditioning costs), then reverse its blades’ spinning direction in colder weather.

This will draw up the air in the middle of the room and force it down along the edges, mixing the warm and cool air and keeping your room at a steady temperature.

When you do this, your furnace won’t have to work so hard to keep things warm, saving you money on those costly energy bills.

Cut Back on Water Usage

Cutting back on water usage is one of the quickest ways to save on energy bills. You can find out, for example, when your utility’s peak pricing hours are and save your laundry for off hours.

You can also install energy-efficient showerheads and aerators on faucets to limit the amount of water you use (sometimes cutting consumption by more than half!)

Adding a low-flush or dual-flush toilet, or retrofitting an existing one, also helps. Or you could replace your conventional water heater with a tankless or on-demand unit, which doesn’t demand energy when not in use because it doesn’t store water.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will enable you to put your heating and cooling system on a set schedule so that your air conditioner doesn’t work hard to keep your house cool all day long in the summer and your furnace isn’t constantly working in winter.

Some smart thermostats provide you extra capabilities to monitor and control your usage, even offering incentives to cut energy use.

Check with your local utility to see if you’re eligible to receive a free or cost-reduced unit. With these measures, you will save yourself from overheating when you get your next energy bill.