Winter is right around the corner and you probably already know what that means. That’s right, your heating bill is going to go through the roof! As Summer is coming to an end and we are forced indoors due to the unforgiving cold, you’re going to want to save some money. Here are five awesome hacks that will help you lower your energy bills during the cold seasons and help you keep warm.
1. Use Window Coverings
Sometimes old Victorian homes can be some of the most blustery and drafty just from how old the windows are. Using blankets, plastic coverings, and other thick materials over your thin windows can prove very useful during the cold months. If you live in an older house then you might already know about this technique. (1)
It’s not exactly the most glamorous or appealing look inside your home, but this method helps a lot. Just finding thick blankets that are sizable enough to fit over your windows can help keep your home warm. The thick blanket serves as an extra membrane for your window panes. This means all of the warm air in your house will stay put and keep the cold air outside where it belongs. All the while, saving you some money on your energy bills while staying warm at the same time.
2. Unplug At Night To Lower Energy Bills
This technique might seem a little tedious at first but can save you quite a few pennies on energy bills. All you have to do is find every electrical device that has a plug and unplug it before you go to bed. This might not seem like it’s going to do much, however, you’d be surprised how much energy you use at night. Devices that stay plugged in for 24 hours a day can make up to 5-10% of your energy bills. (1)
When all of the people of your house become tired, just kindly ask them to unplug before they go to sleep. Obviously, leave your lamps and heaters plugged in. Focus more on larger appliances that you don’t use at night. To be completely thorough, you might just want to unplug everything that has a cord attached to it.
3. Weather Strips On Openings
This is another helpful tip for those that live in drafty old homes. If you don’t want to try the window coverings then using weather strips could prove to be a better option. To be thorough, you might consider both methods. This will help you save on your energy bills.
All you have to do is buy some weather stripping clay and locate the drafty cracks in your doors and windows. Take the weather stripping and mold it to cover the opening entirely. You only need a little bit of the weather stripping clay but obviously, use as much as you need to make it effective. There is also foam weather stripping as well if you prefer that material instead. (1)
People tend to use weather strips on windows or doors that they don’t plan on opening that very often. The reason is once you have the weather stripping in place, it’s kind of hard to remold it back the way you want it. However, using weather strips can lower the cost of your energy bills. The purpose they serve is to seal openings that might let warm air leak out or cold air seep in.
4. Adjusting The Water Heater
A lot of people don’t realize this but manufacturers will purposely set your water heater at a high setting. It’s always a good idea to go check what your water heater is set to and adjust it for the coming temperature changes. Modern water heaters should have a dial that you can use to set the temperature you want it at.
This is the temp your water is being heated at all times of the day and not just when you use it. It takes energy to heat your water so you’ll want to turn it down a little bit! This can lower your energy bills significantly over the course of fall and winter. Even just setting it to “hot” instead of “very hot”, or whatever the highest setting may be, will greatly reduce your spending. (1)
5. Lowering Heat Lowers Energy Bills
This may come as no surprise to a lot of people, but lowering the thermostat will save you a substantial amount of money on your energy bills. Even though you might get a little colder with lowered heat, you will definitely see the stark differences in how much money you will save. Especially if you adopt the other methods mentioned before. (1)
Of course, it’s not ideal to have to lower the heating in your household but if you’re at home alone with no one else this might be a great idea. Another thing to consider is that you can bundle up with more layers in your house. If you have others living with you, it might be worth taking the time to sit down and talk about what your house should do to save money.
A combination of all of these techniques could save you a lot this freezing season. The biggest thing to focus on how is keeping as much hot air in your house as you can and minimizing the amount of electricity you use. Remember to layer yourself in blankets and thick clothes to also help ward against the biting cold.