How to Save on Your Utility Bills This Winter
Winter storms and cold temperatures can cause your utility bills to spike. But you can lower your bills by making everyday changes. Here’s how to save money on your utility bills without losing comfort in your home.
Watch Your Thermostat
Your heating bill is one of the most expensive utilities in the winter. Reduce your heating bill by lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re away from home. When you’re sleeping, lower your thermostat by a few degrees. Avoid forgetting to lower your thermostat by programming it. According to the Department of Energy, “by turning your thermostat back 10 degrees to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.”
Instead of turning up the heat, add a few layers to warm up. Always wear socks on your feet in the winter. Keep a jacket handy to throw on at night. Bundle up with blankets on the couch and bed. Cover your cold floors with cozy rugs.
Use the Sun to Your Advantage
Use natural sunlight to warm up your house in the winter. Hang light-colored curtains to allow the sunlight fill the room. At night, close your curtains to keep the room warm. Place mirrors across from your windows to reflect the sunlight and brighten up your space.
Make sure your windows are clean of any dust or dirt. This will invite sunlight into your space. To clean your windows, use Windex or white vinegar and water. Also, make sure your windows are properly sealed and locked to prevent any cold air from coming into your house.
Clean at the Correct Time
Save money by planning when you’ll do your chores. One of the best times to do the laundry and dishes is from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. For instance, turn on the dishwasher or dryer before you go to bed. Make sure you’re not running the dishwasher or washer when you’re in the shower. To learn more about how your electricity company charges you, call and ask. Be sure to ask about peak hour rates.
Turn Off Your Electronics
According to the Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electrical use by home electronics occurs when they’re turned off. Avoid these “energy vampires” by unplugging your electronics at night and before you leave the house. Encourage your children to turn off their electronics as well.
Lose the Lint
Don’t let your dryer steal your electricity — and money. Be sure to remove all the lint after each load of laundry. Do your laundry all at one time so your dryer doesn’t cool down and don’t over-dry your clothes. By being conscious of your cleaning, you’ll save money on your next electricity bill.