As you may know, there are lots of reasons why your power bill may increase as the weather gets colder. One major reason is that you’re likely spending more time at home consuming electricity and using your heater. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of time or work to learn how to save energy in the winter.
Heating and cooling alone account for roughly 48% of the energy used in a typical American household, making it the largest energy expense in most homes. NOAA forecast that this winter will be 13% colder than last winter and the EIA projects that the average household in the US will pay about $644 to keep their homes warm this winter with natural gas, others will pay $980 with electricity, $1,462 with heating oil, and the final group will pay about $1,661 to keep their homes heated with propane gas.
These numbers may be alarming, but luckily, there are many things you can do to safeguard your home from excessive heating costs and overall energy consumption. The first place to start (which you’ve likely already done at this point) is to weatherize your home by sealing any air leaks, properly insulating your home, and inspecting your heating system. There are also other clever actions you can take to avoid using excess heat and energy this winter. Below are some of our favorite ways to save energy during the colder months of the year.
- Use a programmable thermostat to reduce the temperature at times when you’re away from home and increase it when you’re back.
- Turn down the temperature of the heat 3 degrees. Drink hot beverages, layer clothing, and use blankets to keep warm and comfortable.
- Increase the humidity in your home with houseplants or a humidifier. Moist air feels warmer and can help you be more comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.
- Install a furnace filter alarm on your furnace to alert you when the filters need to be changed or aim to replace them once a month.
- Don’t block air vents and keep your radiator clear.
- Put a sheet of foil between your radiator and your wall to reflect the heat back into the room instead of out through the walls.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.
- Install a low-pressure, water-efficient showerhead.
- Keep doors, windows, and chimney dampers closed.
- Stock up on food and fill the fridge—an empty fridge uses more energy to keep cool.
- Weather-proof your windows—if you can’t afford to upgrade to storm windows, you can find clear sheets of plastic at home supply stores and use them to cover and seal windows.
- Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any leaks around doors and windows so warm air won’t escape and cold air won’t creep in.
- Close curtains at night and open them during the day to warm your home using the sun’s natural rays.
- Change your refrigerator and freezer settings—keeping your appliances colder than they need to be can lead to significant energy waste.
- If you’re cooking or baking on really cold days, supplement your home’s heating by leaving the oven door open when you’re done cooking.
- Take down your holiday lights, or at least make sure they are no longer plugged in. Opt for LED lights during the holiday season.
- Swap your old light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs, which use 75% less energy.
- Unplug appliances, hairdryers, electronics, and anything else you can when not in use.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and air dry them.
- Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom sparingly—they pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your space.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan—hot air rises, so adjust the blade to rotate clockwise and push the warm air back down into the room.
- Install or upgrade to an energy-efficient fireplace. You will use less energy and you may even qualify for a tax credit.
- Add or upgrade attic insulation to prevent heat from escaping through the top of the house.
- Invest in solar panels—lower your energy bills and see if you qualify for a tax credit or benefit from your city.
- Spend more time out of the house—volunteer at a local non-profit, go on an outdoor adventure, take a class . . . fun winter activities are all around you!
Energy conservation is important and beneficial for many reasons. Saving energy can also help you save money and lessen your impact on the environment. Following these tips for how to save energy in the winter is a great step towards living a more energy-conscious lifestyle.
Ecogold Loyalty Program
Kiwi Energy seeks to acknowledge and encourage our customers to make the right environmental choices, and we reward them for these decisions. Helping customers save energy is a top priority for us. Through our Ecogold loyalty program, we’re able to offer customers energy-efficient products and services, such as light bulbs and discounted home filter subscriptions. The program also offers additional Ecogold Rewards when choosing solar.
Contact Kiwi Energy
Kiwi Energy provides innovative energy solutions for natural gas and electricity and is working to create a sustainable future. Contact us today for more information about our energy plans, our Ecogold loyalty program, or for more ideas about how to save energy in the winter.