If you want to save money in the coming months, you should definitely start working on a few of these home energy saving tips for winter. While fall in the south is generally fairly mild, we get plenty of cold nights once winter actually sets in. And a chilly winter means skyrocketing energy costs. Since just about everyone is concerned with saving money on utilities, I figured I would share a few energy saving tips to help you stay in budget as the cold weather moves in.
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Winter Energy Saving Tips for your Home
Some of these energy saving tips are free but others will require a small investment. Remember, money spent on reducing utility costs will come back to you year after year!
Let the sun do the work for you:
Open the curtains on your south facing windows to let in a bit of sunlight. Make sure to close them as the sun goes down to help keep that warmth inside as temperatures drop. Since the sun is FREE this is one of the cheapest energy saving tips there is! This is a great way to reduce your heating bill this winter.
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Prevent air from coming underneath door and around window frames using old towels or socks stuffed with rice or beans. You can get creative with pretty material and patterns but any type of heavy cloth that is weighted down will work.
If you have windows that you do not actually need to see out of (basements, spare bathroom, etc) consider taping a large piece of bubble wrap all around the interior of the window frame. That will help you keep the heat IN and the cold OUT.
Dress in layers instead of turning up the thermostat.
Installing a programmable thermostat that will automatically drop the temperature after you go to bed is also a great idea. You can set it to come back up an hour before you wake up so you aren’t too cold when you first get out of bed. Just throw a few extra blankets on the bed and invest in some flannel pajamas. You won’t even notice the temperature difference but you will definitely see a difference in your energy costs.
Install Weather Stripping
Seal up the air leaks around pipes, chimneys, doors, and windows. You can hire a handyman to come install weather stripping and add caulking to help stop your indoor heat from escaping. If you are a fix it up type of person yourself, this is not too difficult a task! They have self adhesive weather stripping that isn’t hard to install.
Call the Professionals:
This is one of the most important home energy saving tips for winter. If your heating system is not functioning at its best, it is going to cost you more money. Schedule maintenance for your heater before the weather gets too cold. You may also want to consider investing in a new heating system completely. Newer models are MUCH more energy efficient than they used to be 10 or 20 years ago!
Don’t skimp on routine maintenance. Replacing heating system filters and cleaning out the chimney will help ensure not only that your home is as energy efficient as possible but also that it is SAFE.
Install ceiling fans.
You may think that ceiling fans are only for summer use but remember, heat RISES and your heat does you no good if it is stuck on your ceiling and you are on the floor. A ceiling fan will help push that warm air down to the ground where you can enjoy it!
Heat only the rooms you are in.
IF you are looking for really easy home energy saving tips for winter, this is it! Just close the door! No sense heating that guest bedroom if you don’t actually have company coming! Keep doors closed to keep the heat in the area of the house that you actually use.
Choose Energy Efficient Bulbs
Make sure all of your lights are replaced with LED light bulbs. That means everything from your holiday Christmas lights and bedroom lamp to your front porch light as well as the giant spotlight that shines over your driveway. You can plug things into an outdoor light timer to help save money. Replacing your old light bulbs may seem like a big investment but every time you turn on a light you will be saving money in the long run.
With the evenings getting dark so quickly and the sun rising so late in the morning, that means people who park their cars in the driveway (ME) have to use outdoor lighting to find our way to and from the car. Those outdoor lights are NOT cheap to use and should be replaced with an energy efficient LED bulb. Make sure you put your driveway light on a timer or use a motion sensor to control when it comes on. That way you know you won’t accidentally leave it on all night, burning up lots of energy and money at the same time.
If you aren’t sure where to even begin on saving energy, contact your local electric company. Have them conduct an energy assessment to find out where you can save the most. As them for more home energy saving tips for winter and see if they have any other suggestions.
Have any other home energy saving tips for winter?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.