If there’s one certain thing about winter is that, as the temperature drops, your power bill shoots up like a geyser. This is because heater use (without proper maintenance) can make up to 42% of your utility expenses.
How to conserve heat in your home without putting yourself in the red before the year’s end? Just follow these easy, low-cost tips and keep yourself and your family warm through old-fashioned ingenuity. The added benefit is that you’ll also be doing the environment a favor as well.
Get to know some ways to save on your electric bill!
1. Thermal clothes and layers are your friends
It’s common sense to layer up to keep warm during winter, but piling on any old thing you find in your closet might prove too bulky and inconvenient if you want to move around the house. Thermal clothing is now thankfully more affordable than ever, and it’s lightweight enough to keep you warm while allowing you to stay active indoors at the same time.
2. Seal any leaks properly
A drafty home is an energy sink during the winter months by leaking that expensive heat and letting in cold air, and also by being a pain to detect. When you do find them, however, be sure to properly seal them up, as this small change can go a long way in significantly reducing energy expenses throughout the cold season. Attics and crawl spaces without proper insulation also mean an enormous heat loss.
3. Turn your ceiling fans clockwise
While turning on the ceiling fan might seem counterproductive when trying to keep warm, remember that hot air rises, making the difference in temperature between your floor and ceiling pretty noticeable. With this solution, you can make that hot air come back down and heating the lower part of your home, which is especially useful if you have tall ceilings.
4. Choose thicker curtains and rugs
Warming your house is only half the job; the rest is keeping it inside. During the winter months, redecorate your home using thicker curtains for your windows, and heavier rugs if you don’t have carpet floors. Not only will you keep the heat longer inside your house, but it will give it a cozier, wintery look as well; comfiness goes a long way!
5. Follow the sun
Open the blinds or curtains on windows facing south to let extra light and warmth in during the day, and close them during the night to prevent heat loss. Simple, yet effective!
6. Humidify your home
An above-average humidity inside your home goes a long way in retaining heat, so a humidifier is another simple solution that brings noticeable results and doesn’t consume as much energy as turning the heater all the way up. You can even use some essential oils to not only keep your house warmer but smelling great for the holiday season.
7. Heat your bed
A solution straight out of a colonial period piece, bed warmers are a good way to sleep cozily while you turn down the heater for the rest of the house. Keep a hot water bag or bottle underneath your bed cover, and it will spread enough heat to last you throughout the night. But beware! DON’T use any old plastic water bottle or bag to hold hot water, as it may cause a spill or an accident.
8. Use warm (not boiling) water
This one depends a little on how energy-efficient your water heater is, but ideally, you should set it to 120°F so that you and your family use warm water instead of it coming out scalding hot out of the faucets. This is essentially a quick and no-cost solution, and also helps you prevent nasty accidents and expensive hospital bills from impromptu visits to the emergency room.
9. Save energy while cooking
An efficient microwave is one of the cheapest ways to cook meals without draining too much electricity, and they’re a blessing when you cook big meals that leave a lot of leftovers. This way, you have enough hearty meals for the week while only cooking on select days. Also, consider using a slow cooker, which is an even greater energy-efficient tool, for soups and stews. If you are using an oven, however, turn it off a few minutes before the food is ready and leat the heat trapped inside to finish the job.
10. Stay away from windows
Move your most frequently used furniture, such as beds and couches, away from windows and closer to inner walls, which are the warmest inside a house. Ask for help if they’re too big!
A note on just staying indoors all the time during winter: Keep everything clean and tidy. Also, watch out for mold or too many allergens building up inside your home. Hire a professional home cleaning service (and an environmentally friendly one at that!) to keep everything fresh and healthy inside and working on these ways to save on electric bill.