Each year, the average household in the United States uses more electricity than the year before – and 2020 is no exception. In fact, global energy usage continues to rise faster than the current population growth.
While many people are turning to renewable energy sources to lower their electricity bills while still living comfortably, the upfront costs make this option out-of-reach for many Americans. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined for higher and higher energy bills each year. Instead, there are a few changes you can make to your daily habits to lower your energy consumption and your bills.
Keep reading to learn the basic energy savings tips you should use this winter to help save money.
1. Shop Around for Electricity Rates
When it comes to home energy saving tips, the first thing you need to do is shop around for the best electricity rates.
Many people assume that the rate they are paying is set in stone. But, odds are, there is more than one energy provider in your area, which provides a competitive market with competitive pricing. Compare your current cents per kilowatthour listed on your bill with what other energy providers are charging.
Also, look into other money-saving offers, such as no deposit electricity, time-of-use rate plans, and budget plans. Simply calling up your current provider and letting them know that you are looking around for the best deal could cause them to suddenly offer you a money-saving option.
2. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
One of the best energy-conservation tips is to invest in a smart thermostat. Instead of sacrificing comfort by turning your thermostat down by a few degrees to save money, let a smart thermostat save you money with no effort.
Smart thermostats work by studying your daily routine. They keep track of what times of day people are home, when they are away, and when they are sleeping. Then, based on your household’s schedule, the thermostat will adjust to your temperature comfort level.
For example, your thermostat may warm up just before you wake up, only to cool down once everyone leaves for the day. Then, when you are getting ready to return home, the thermostat will warm up again before it cools down once everyone is asleep.
With a smart thermostat, you can save up to 12% on heating costs and up to 15% on cooling costs.
3. Use Your Ceiling Fans
Many people believe that they should only use their ceiling fans when it’s hot outside. But, using your ceiling fans correctly is also one of the best winter energy saving tips.
It’s correct that in the summer, ceiling fans can help cool your home. But, when winter comes, you need to flip the switch on the base of your fan to make it spin counter-clockwise. This will cause your fans to reciprocate the air in your home in a way to help spread the warmth.
It’s pretty common knowledge that warm air rises, so all of your heat will rise to the ceiling, leaving you with the colder air. By turning on your fan, this recirculates the warm air downwards, heating the entirety of your home. This tip is especially useful if you have high ceilings.
4. Embrace the Sunlight
Keeping your curtains and blinds closed may be a tactic to keep the cold air out, but you’re also keeping the warm sunlight out. Instead, you should open your blinds and curtains and embrace the sunlight.
Sunlight can heat your home by a few degrees each day for free. During the day, set your thermostat a few degrees lower than your comfort level and let the sunlight do the rest.
Make sure that you close your blinds and curtains each night when the sunsets. This will help keep any cold drafts of air from entering your home.
5. Insulate Your Doors, Windows
Speaking of drafts of air, another one of the best energy efficiency tips is to insulate your doors and windows.
Feel around your doors and windows to see if there are any spots where cold air is blowing through. If so, use caulk to fill in any small holes and create a seal around your door and window frames.
If your doors and windows are old and letting in an excess of cold air, you can also use plastic to insulate during the winter. Buy a plastic insulation kit and follow the directions on the box. Only cover up windows and doors that you will not need to open for the duration of the winter season.
6. Maintain Your Furnace
The harder your furnace has to work to warm your home, the higher your electricity usage will be. So, to ensure your furnace is working as efficiently as possible, set up a maintenance appointment before the winter season begins.
An HVAC professional will come to your home to review your whole system. While they’re at it, they’ll clean out the vents and remove any built-up debris and dust. In addition, they’ll change out your air filter to help maintain your home’s air quality.
Many HVAC companies have a loyalty program where you can sign up for both winter and spring maintenance for a lower price. In addition, this can bump you to the top of their appointment list if you have an HVAC problem arise throughout the year.
Use These Energy Saving Tips This Winter
If you’re looking to save money on your electric bill this winter, be sure to take advantage of these energy saving tips.
Start by shopping around for the best electricity rates and purchasing a smart thermostat. Then, use your ceiling fans, let the sunlight in, and insulate your doors and windows. Finally, you should consider a maintenance check-up on your furnace to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible.
Looking for more ways to keep money in your wallet this winter? Browse the rest of this site for articles on everything from investing to real estate advice.