According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 48% of the energy usage in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. Additionally, during the winter time, when we all spend more time indoors, we tend to use more electricity. Heaters are running, the TV is on, the lights are on, the fridge is constantly being opened for snacks, and so on.

Luckily, with several weeks left this winter, there are some easy actions that you can take to reduce your energy usage.

#1: Leverage the sun: Open curtains and blinds that have a lot of sun exposure to allow light and heat in during the day, then close them at night to retain heat.

#2: Bundle up: In lieu of cranking the thermostat, wear lots of layers, keep blankets on your couch, and use rugs to insulate floors.

#3: Only heat the rooms you use: Close the heating vents or switch off the radiators in unoccupied rooms.

#4: Minimize the use of kitchen and bathroom fans: Don’t use them unless absolutely necessary – they suck out a lot of warm air.

If followed winter after winter, these simple and easy tips can have a significant impact on your family budget.

Unsplash Photo Courtesy: Key Image) Alisa Anton, 1) Erick Lee Hodge, 2) Annie Spratt, 3) Erik Odiin, 4) Logan Ripley