Have you noticed that your energy bill has been rising these past few months? You may think it’s no big deal, it’s winter, it usually does that.
But what if we told you that there were ways to help you lower your energy bill without turning off your heat? Interested? Great! Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can help lower your energy bill this winter:
- Use the Sun. Open the curtains of your south-facing windows to bring free heat into your home. And when the sun goes down close them to keep the heat inside.
- Turn on your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow: adjusting your fan to spin counter-clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. Turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to gently push hot air back down.
- Keep your furnace clean and unblocked. Check your furnace filter monthly, and replace it when it gets dirty. Did you know? Cleaning your furnace filter every two months can increase its efficiency by 50%.
- Get smart with a smart thermostat. These devices can optimize your energy use by heating your home only when you’re there. The Nest Thermostat, for example, automatically adjusts the temperature after users set it manually for the first few days to establish usage patterns and preferences. It can also adjust according to factors such as draftiness or how long a home takes to get warm.
- Upgrade to energy star. Ridding your house of that 20-year-old fridge or rickety washing machine can cut your energy bills across the board. In fact, up to 20% of our electricity bill’s balance comes from running appliances. Investing in Energy Star-qualified dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerators can dramatically reduce that percentage
- Insulate and seal. Insulating windows with clear plastic sheeting and installing insulated window coverings can easily keep heat from escaping your home. Look for drafts around chimneys, in unfinished spaces behind cabinets and closets, and in other areas and seal them. You can also try applying weatherstripping or caulk around drafty doors and windows to stop cold air in its tracks.
- Fill up that dishwasher. Dishwashers are more energy and water efficient when full. Researchers have also found the machines consistently do a better job—with less water—than hand-washing.