Heating your home during the winter can be ridiculously expensive, especially if you live in a cold climate. Unfortunately, your money doesn’t have the same purchasing power in our current environment. Therefore, you want to do everything possible to save money.
Today, we want to discuss 11 winter energy-saving tips that can help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year.
Winter Energy-Saving Tips
- Winter Energy-Saving Tips
1. Use a Programmable Thermostat
One of the best ways to save energy during winter is by using a programmable thermostat to set specific temperatures for your home for certain times of the day.
For instance, if you heat your house to 1° lower than you usually do during winter, you may save up to 5% on your monthly energy bill. Moreover, if you set your temperature to about 64° Fahrenheit during the night, you may save up to 0.8% of your monthly electricity usage.
In addition, when you aren’t home, there’s no need to heat your house to the same degree as if you were home.
Therefore, you can use a programmable thermostat to decrease the temperature in your home by a few degrees while you aren’t there. This can save at least 10% on your monthly winter energy bill.
2. Keep Your Furnace Filter Clean
Natural gas furnaces are most commonly used for households in the northern parts of the US. They have filters designed to filter out particulates. Unfortunately, these filters can get dirty and clogged, obstructing the furnace’s airflow. The less airflow your furnace has, the less efficient it is, and it will waste more money.
Therefore, check your filter at least once a month to see if it is dirty. Unfortunately, these filters cannot be cleaned in most cases but instead need to be replaced. However, a replacement filter is not nearly as expensive as an inefficient furnace.
3. Do Some Draft Proofing
As far as energy is concerned, one of the biggest money wasters is your home itself. If you have improperly sealed doors or windows, they will let out heat. If you ever stand near a window and feel a cold draft, this is going on.
That cold draft loses heat, which costs you money. Another indicator that your windows and doors aren’t as airproof as they should be is if you see ice or frost on the window frame or on the window itself. If you have windows that let cold air in and heat out, you will want to replace them.
Studies show you can save up to 15% on heating costs simply by properly sealing all of the gaps in your home. It may not be cheap, but it will save money on your heating bill in the long run. In addition, there are cost-efficient ways of doing this, such as getting simple window insulator kits.
4. Keep Your Chimney Closed
During winter, chimneys will cause your home to lose a lot of heat; these are some of the biggest heat wasters in your home. Therefore, you need to block your chimney so heat cannot escape when you’re not using it. There are various methods for doing so, including chimney balloons, chimney caps, and top-sealing dampers; these are cost-effective options to block your chimney.
5. Take Advantage of the Sun
Many of us forget the sun has quite a bit of heating power, even in winter. Simply keep your curtains open whenever those windows are facing the sun. The more natural sunlight you let into your home, the more heat it will produce. Then, at night, close those curtains to reduce heat loss. This is a fantastic winter money-saving tip that won’t cost you any money.
6. Solar Panels Help Too
You might want to consider installing a solar panel array on your home. Solar panels are not cheap to install, but most governments offer incentives to make solar panel installation more affordable.
However, solar panel systems can save a lot of money in the long run. Investing in a solar panel system will pay off between 3 to 10 years, depending on where you live.
This is not a short-term investment, but if you plan to keep your house for a long time, it will help you save money.
7. Those Christmas Lights
Many people might not consider this, but the Christmas lights you hang up every year use energy. However, we’re not going to tell you to not hang Christmas lights. That said, choose the right kind of Christmas lights. Generally speaking, this means LED light strings instead of regular incandescent Christmas lights.
If you were to use standard incandescent Christmas lights on your Christmas tree, it could cost about $10 per day. However, if you are using LED light strings, they will only cost you under $0.30 per day.
8. Dress Appropriately
One of the easiest ways to save energy and money during winter is by wearing another layer of clothes. However, the less clothing you wear, the more you must heat your home to feel comfortable. Therefore, insulating your body using thicker clothes will save energy.
Did you know turning with a thermostat down from 22° to 18° Celsius can save up to 35% of your energy per month? So, it makes sense to put on a few extra pieces of clothing, keeping that number in mind.
9. Use Insulated Curtains
Insulated curtains are another great way to help save energy during the winter. We already discussed curtains above. However, if you have specially insulated curtains, they will help draft-proof your home by keeping heat where it belongs. The good news is that insulated curtains aren’t that expensive.
10. Put Your Ceiling Fan to Use
In the summer, you use your ceiling fan to blow cool air down on you, but did you know that most ceiling fans turn in the other direction?
You can use a ceiling fan to force warm air down from the ceiling during the winter. That warm air is already present in your home, but you aren’t feeling it because it’s up by the roof.
Of course, a ceiling fan will use energy, but not much, especially if you get an energy-efficient ceiling fan.
11. Turn Off Appliances
Many appliances have a so-called standby mode. This might be convenient for some people, but it also wastes energy. When devices are on standby, they will still use power. Of course, they don’t use a huge amount of electricity when on standby, but a little bit is still more than nothing. For instance, a phone charger plugged in can cost up to $2 per year.
Those chargers are pretty small, so you can imagine how much larger appliances will waste when on standby. But, on the other hand, you could save up to $50 or even $60 per year simply by turning your devices off or unplugging them.
If you follow these tips, you could save hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars in energy expenses. Moreover, most winter energy-saving tips are exceedingly simple and don’t require much investment.