Winter came…and your utility bill got a bit out of hand. Between heating the house and keeping the holiday decorations up, you probably didn’t realize just how much money would go into it all. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a few steps you could take to prevent your bill from upsetting your wallet. Follow these 11 tips for lowering your utility bill this winter.
1. Let the sun warm you up.
Let natural light heat your home during the day. In the evening, when the sun sets, close the shutters to keep in the warmth.
2. Dress up, not down.
One of the easiest ways to stay warm during winter is to dress up in a cozy sweater and some thick socks. This may seem obvious for going outside, but we often forget that we can do the same thing indoors. For additional warmth, dress your house up, too! Pile some pillows and a blanket on that couch in front of the TV, and throw a rug on the floor for extra insulation.
3. Play around with your thermostat settings.
Play around with the thermostat to make sure that you aren’t overheating the house. Who knows, you might feel just as comfortable at lower temperature levels. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that you can save nearly 10 percent of your utility heating bill by lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours at a time.
4. Only heat the rooms you use.
Don’t waste heat on rooms you’re never in. If you rarely go to your storage room, it probably doesn’t need any of that precious heat. If you are only in the kitchen to grab a snack, you probably don’t need it to be quite as cozy as your living room. Focus your heating efforts on the rooms that you actually spend time in by closing off and sealing vents in rooms you don’t visit.
5. Humidify the air in your house.
Due to all the heating in winter, the air inside the house tends to be drier. However, humid air holds heat better and generally warms you up more. Purchase a humidifier as a great one-time investment to help your house feel warmer even at lower temperatures and lower utility bill costs.
6. Rotate your ceiling fans clockwise.
Ceiling fans aren’t just for cooling. Warm air rises, and tends to hang out around your ceiling (where it does no good warming you). If you change your fans to rotate clockwise and set them to a low speed, they will pull cool air up instead of pushing it down. This, in turn, pushes the warm air downwards, helping keep you warm and cozy. Remember, if you keep your fans rotating counter-clockwise you will be yelling “winter is coming” all season long.
7. Keep your furnace clean.
Don’t forget to run the necessary maintenance checks on your furnace and vents. Proper functionality will help reduce energy consumption and, in turn, save the big bucks. Sometimes it takes something as simple as checking your filters. Make sure you are using the clean and correct filters for your system. For the best up-keeping advice, get a consultation from a professional.
8. Insulate where you can.
Make sure that the heat is not escaping anywhere. Find all your leaky windows (you know the ones that feel like wind is still funneling through even when closed) and gaps in your doors so you can seal them up. If you can prevent heat from seeping through, your house will feel warmer and your wallet will be fuller. The issue can be easily addressed with some inexpensive foam weather stripping for the cracks along your doors and windows. Step your game up with some affordable insulation for larger areas. Your house will feel warmer in no time.
9. Light up your house with LED lights.
It gets darker outside earlier in winter, prompting you to use a lot more lighting. Plus, with the holidays calling for a lot of twinkling lights, you will be drastically increasing electricity usage. So if you decided to keep your holiday lights up until March, why not at least make the switch to LED bulbs? They use less energy and last longer! These tough little guys are extra resistant to breakage in comparison to traditional light bulbs and are capable of staying cool longer.
10. Invest in a smart home system.
Having trouble remembering to adjust your thermostat for night time? Smart home systems can do that for you now! These smart home devices keep track of your preferred settings and adjust accordingly after the initial programming is done. This way you never have to worry about accidentally leaving the heater on while at work or running errands.
11. Upgrade kitchen appliances.
Just like old lightbulbs, outdated kitchen appliances could be eating up way more electricity than their newer counterparts. Check with a professional to see how much of your utility bill your dishwasher, washing machine, and fridge are devouring and consider replacing them for long-term savings.
Do you have any tips for cutting down utility bill costs during winter? Let us know by tagging @ApartmentList on Twitter or Instagram.