Do you dread opening your power bill during the winter months? When temperatures fall outside, your inclination might be to turn up the thermostat to tropical temperatures and forget about the snow falling a few feet away. But making your home feel like the beach can wreak havoc on your energy bills. Beat the chilly temperatures with these winter energy saving tips that can help you stay within your personal budget.
Adjust the Thermostat
During the cold winter months, wear a warm sweater and socks instead of turning up the thermostat. By keeping your temperature setting a few degrees cooler in the winter months, you will optimize the efficiency of your furnace. Keep the temperature cooler during the day when no one is home and overnight when you are in bed. Lowering your temperature gauge just a few degrees could save you as much as 10% each year on your energy bills. (Looking for other ways to spend less this season? Here are eight ways to save money during the holidays.)
Maintain Your Furnace
You may not be an HVAC professional, but there are simple things you can do to make your furnace run more efficiently. First, change the air filters at the start of each heating season. Dust around the unit regularly. For maximum efficiency, it’s also helpful to have your furnace tuned up by a professional once a year.
You have two types of vents in your home: supply and return air vents. Both are crucial for maintaining optimal temps in your home. If your vents are covered, your furnace will work overtime to deliver warm air and whisk away cooler air. Give your furnace (and energy bills) a break by not covering your heating vents.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
While you’re being mindful about airflow, be sure to reverse all ceiling fans throughout the house. To save on heating costs, make sure the ceiling fan blades move clockwise during the colder months to force the warm air trapped up at the ceiling down to the living areas where you really need it.
Seal the Leaks
Weather stripping is a simple, affordable way to lower your electric bill in winter. If you can see light around a door, common weatherstripping tape found at any hardware store provides an easy do-it-yourself solution. If you can feel air flowing around a window, running a bead of caulk around the edges can provide a tight seal and save on heating costs.
Examine Your Windows
Hold your hand in front of a window on a cold day — do you feel a breeze? If so, your energy costs could be going right out the window. Inefficient windows can be expensive to replace. Instead, add plastic sheeting to windows. This will add insulation, reduce drafts and keep your home warmer this winter. Additionally, consider buying window treatments that have a heavy lining that keeps the drafts to a minimum, and helps maintain the heat that your furnace produces.
Think About Your Fireplace
A fire can make your home feel warm and cozy, but when it’s not in use, a fireplace can be the source of a lot of heat loss. When you aren’t using your fireplace, keep the damper closed. Before the first fire of the season, check seals and make sure everything is as snug as possible. When you have a fire going, lower your furnace temperature by 10-20 degrees so your furnace isn’t doing double duty.
Don’t Miss Out on Discounts
Cold winter temps outside don’t need to equal chilly temps inside. Don’t shiver all winter. These winter energy saving tips can help you keep your home warm and toasty all season — without draining your bank account to pay your power bill. Looking for other ways to save? Talk to your Farm Bureau agent about discounts you may be eligible for.