Top 10 Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

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Unless you live in San Diego, Arizona, or south Florida, the cost of energy in winter is daunting.  The cost of energy ranks third on the most expensive list for renters. In a 2013 survey by Rent.com, a significant portion of respondents rated the monthly cost of utilities only behind their rent amount and groceries as the most expensive monthly obligation.

In four-season climates, the cost of heating your home is a costly component of your monthly bills. But, there are ways to reduce the cost to keep warm in your home. Here are some tips proven to slow energy consumption, keep your home comfortable in winter, and contribute positively to preserving our environment.

Proven Energy Saving Tips During Winter

  1. Have a home inspection to reassure that your energy systems, plumbing, and electrical are in good working order or have energy wasting problems.
    The cost of a home inspection to identify the efficiency of your heating and plumbing systems, pales in comparison with your monthly energy bills. Repairs of major problems typically more expensive than the cost of having a trained, experienced inspector to evaluate your heating system’s efficiency.
  2. Maximize the warmth of the sun.Open your curtains wide on the south facing side of your home to let the sun in, even when the outside temperature is cold. The sun’s warmth is maximized when filtered through your home’s windows. Even though the winter days are short, you’ll be amazed at the warmth the sun provides. The best news: the sun is effective and this energy consumption tip is FREE!
  3. Make use of accessories, e.g., warm sweaters, to stay comfortable instead of turning up the thermostat.This tip is also free, but very effective. Instead of making the entire home more comfortable by using more energy, just put on a winter sweater to keep you warmer when winter comes.
  4. Use your ceiling fans properly to remain comfortable.Adjusting your ceiling fans so they spin clockwise pushes the warm air, which collects near the ceilings (since it’s lighter than cold air), down. Set your ceiling fans on low to gently force the warm air down to your level.
  5. Only heat the rooms that you use most.Close heating vents and radiators in seldom used rooms, e.g., guest bedrooms, to reduce energy costs. You can always turn them back on when you’re entertaining overnight guests.
  6. Get your furnace cleaned and tuned.Have a tech from your oil company or other expert, “tune up” your furnace at least once per year.
  7. Increase the humidity in your home’s air with a humidifier.Moist air increases warmth (remember, how warm and uncomfortable high humidity is in summer?) and traps warm air.
  8. Turn your thermostat down at night when you’re sleeping.A cool room improves your sleep quality. You’ll save up to 10 percent of energy costs during winter, according to the Department of Energy.
  9. Use LED lights for holiday decorating.Since LED lights use around 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights, you can save serious money lighting your home for the holidays.
  10. Minimize the use of exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.Exhaust fans blow out warm, humid air, defeating your energy saving efforts. When you’re done using them, e.g., after a warm shower, shut them off in winter.

These tips will reduce the cost of your heating bills. Using them all will result in savings that you’ll enjoy, while keeping your family comfortable during winter.

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