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Download the PDF: 18 Money Saving Tactics
When summer starts to fade and winter is on the horizon, one of the things you want to do is make sure your home and car are both ready for the change in weather. By making a few adjustments to your routine and your house, you can really save big and reduce your total energy costs during the cold weather months. Here are 18 things you’ll want to do to get ready.
1. Seal Your Home From Drafts
Drafts around windows and doors are a real problem when it comes to cold air getting into your house. But you can reduce the problem when you put plastic over windows, use weatherstripping, and hunt down drafts so they can be eliminated as much as
2. Dress For the Weather
Wearing t-shirts and shorts in the middle of January means you’ll have to raise the temperature in your house and use a lot of energy. Instead, wear jeans, sweaters, and thicker socks, so you don’t get so chilly. You can make good use of blankets, too, to keep warm and cozy without raising the temperature in your house.
3. Lower the Inside Temperature Just a Little
Even a couple of degrees can matter when it comes to how warm your house is and how much energy you’re using. If you normally keep your house at 72, try for 70 or even 68. If you normally keep it at 68, you can probably feel good at 65. You may even be all right at 60, if you dress for the weather and if you’re relatively active in your house.
4. Run Your Ceiling Fan Clockwise
Ceiling fans are designed to blow cool air down onto you, but if you switch the way the fan spins it will move cooler air away and help you feel warmer. That can make a big difference when it comes to how warm you need to keep your house. Running a fan uses a lot less energy than running your heating system, so finding a balance between the two can really help.
5. Turn the Thermostat Down During the Night
While you’re cozy and asleep under the blankets at night, you can let your house cool down a lot. Many people set their thermostat to 60 or even into the 50s during the night, and you can get a programmable thermostat to help you with that. Then it will cool down automatically at a set time of night, and warm back up in the morning. You’ll save money and energy, and still be really comfortable.
6. Add Some Humidity to Your Air
Dry air doesn’t hold heat as well, and it also doesn’t feel as warm as air that is moist. If you have a humidifier, definitely use it during the colder months. You’ll stay feeling warmer and you won’t use as much energy because you can turn the thermostat down more and still be comfortable. Drier air is cooler air, but if you get your house too humid you can experience mold issues. That’s something to be aware of.
7. Replace the Filter In Your Furnace
Your furnace filter may not have been replaced since last winter. The chances are high that it needs replacing now, and it will make your furnace or heat pump more energy efficient. Comfort and savings are both important, and you can have a good balance between the two when you have an efficient heating system. Filters can make a big difference, so change them frequently and make sure they are clean at the start of each winter, too.
8. Close the Blinds Unless the Sun’s Hitting the Window
If the sun isn’t hitting the windows and warming up your house, it’s time to close the blinds. That will keep the heat you already have inside, instead of letting it get away. Cloudy days mean closed blinds, even if you might be concerned about it seeming dark in your house. You can always turn on a light, and that will cost you much less than all the heat that will be escaping if you leave the blinds open.
9. Cook Meals at Home
Using the oven and stove warm up the house, so cooking at home can help with energy efficiency. You’ll also save money in a couple of different ways, which is very important, too. After you’ve taken the food out of the oven and turned it off, leave the door cracked just a little. You’ll do even more to help heat your house.
10. Use Your Space Heaters Wisely
Space heaters aren’t the most energy efficient things, but many of the newer ones aren’t bad. If you use them strategically, and only in locations where you’re going to be for a while, you can save yourself some money and reduce your energy consumption. There’s no need to heat the entire house to a warmer temperature if you’re in one room most of the day.
11. Install a Garage Door Sweep
If your garage is warmer, your house will be warmer, too. Installing a garage door sweep can help with that, because you don’t want cold air getting into the garage. You also don’t want that air getting into the house. Making sure doors seal well and don’t have a lot of space at the bottom will make a big difference in your energy bills over time.
12. Use LED Bulbs in Your Home and Holiday Decorations
It’s true that LED bulbs cost more when you purchase them, but they save you money over time. Your holiday decorations should have them, but so should the rest of your house. That way you aren’t spending a lot of extra money just to have the lights on, or celebrate the season.
13. Replace Your Windows If They Aren’t Energy Efficient
New windows may be just the thing you need to save big on energy. A lot of locations have programs that will give you a rebate if you add new windows, too. Check with your local energy provider and see if they offer such a program. Even if they don’t, new windows are often worth the price based on how much they save you in energy.
14. Check the Air In Your Car’s Tires
Your car needs good tires, and it needs to have the right amount of air in those tires, too. That will save you in gasoline, because you’ll get better mileage. It’s important to check them, and add air if needed, when the weather gets cold, because that change in air temperature and humidity levels can affect how much air is in your tires. If your “low tire” light is going to come on, the first cold winter day will usually be the time when it will happen.
15. Don’t Run Your Exhaust Fans
Your exhaust fans are going to take moisture and warm air out of your house. You don’t want that to happen, so keep those fans turned off. Then you can keep your home warmer and have a little higher humidity level. Both of those things are good, and you’ll see your energy bills come down if you leave those fans off until the weather gets warm again.
16. Add Additional Insulation to the Home
If you live in an old home that isn’t insulated, now would be the time to put some insulation in it. Even if you have a newer home that has insulation, you’ll want to add more to strategic spots like the attic. A lot of heat can escape that way, and there’s nothing wrong with having some extra insulation that will keep the warm air inside your home.
17. Insulate the Water Heater, and Lower Its Temperature
Your water heater is probably in the garage or another location where it doesn’t stay as warm. But it’s trying to keep a big tank of water hot for you. Most water heaters are set higher than they really need to be, as well. Turn the temperature down on your water heater, so it doesn’t have to work so hard. While you’re at it, get a water heater blanket to wrap it with. That will help it heat water more efficiently, and that means a lower energy bill.
18. Close All Those Unused Rooms
Unless you’re using every room in your house frequently, close off some of those rooms. Shut the vents in them, and close the doors. It doesn’t take that long to warm those rooms up if you need them for something, but it’s also great to keep them cooler if they are sitting empty. It’s just one of the great ways you can save money this winter and still be comfortable and cozy in your home when the cold weather comes.