According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, you can expect to pay a higher gas or electric bill to stay warm this winter. The cost for Americans to heat their homes has gone up significantly, and it's expected to continue to rise this winter.
These price increases can be worryingly expensive, but there are ways you can save big and still keep warm. Our guide will show you the best way to stay warm without breaking the budget.
Try these strategies:
Save on the cost of your hot water.
Operating your hot water can account for a large percentage of the energy consumption in your home and could be costing you an arm and leg.
- Install a timer so you aren't paying to keep water hot when you’re asleep or away from home.
- Replacing your old electric water heater with an energy-efficient model can help save you money.
- Consider upgrading your hot water heater to one that uses an alternative, renewable energy source, such as solar power.
Plug any leaks.
Air leaking out of cracks or leaks in your home will cause you to have higher energy costs.
- Repair broken windows, install storm windows, and seal up any cracks with some caulk. These things might not seem like much but every little bit helps!
- Homeowners may not be aware that their HVA unit's ductwork may leak. Be sure to inspect it regularly and repair it as needed.
- You may have small fans in your kitchen or bathroom, but they can quickly pull out all of the warm air in your home. Turn them off when not in use.
Consider using smart appliances and online apps to remotely control your sources of lighting, heating, and cooling.
This way, you can turn off lights and unused appliances at the touch of a button if you forget to turn them off before leaving your home for the day.
Take advantage of passive sources of energy.
Be mindful of ways you could better leverage the power of the sun. It is an accessible, free source of power
Installing a simple kit to vent your dryer's exhaust safely into your home can block lint while allowing additional warm air to flow into your home as you dry your clothes.
Install insulated curtains to reduce drafts and block out the cold.
On sunny winter days, open the curtains to windows that face south to allow the sun's energy to increase the temperature inside your home.
Make sure that you keep your outdoor bushes trimmed so that they don't block the sunlight from coming through your windows. This will help utilize the natural heating power of sunlight, as well as create more natural lighting inside, which can boost mood and productivity!
Turn down your thermostat, just a little.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that turning the temperature down just one degree for a day will save about 3% on heating costs.
It is a good idea to add an extra blanket on your bed and lower the thermostat to 68 degrees while you sleep. You may not notice it while wrapped up in your covers, but if done consistently, it will help save additional energy and money.
The cold winter can be tough and the high cost of heating makes it even more difficult. These tips can help you stay toasty without worrying about your utility bill!