Tips on How to Save on Energy this Winter

By John Focht

It’s only January and it already seems like a long winter.  Keeping your home warm and cozy during the winter months is great, but you also want to make sure you are not causing your heat and electric bill to run sky-high in the process.

Keep your house warm this winter, but be efficient in doing so.  Here are a few tips to help keep you save on energy this winter, without sending yourself to the poor house in the process.

Change your light bulbs to CFL bulbs

Very quietly, light bulbs have been revolutionized.  CFL lights (compact fluorescent lamps) are the swirly light bulbs that have popped up within the past ten years.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy , CFL’s will last 6,000-15,000 hours longer than comparable incandescent bulbs.  The CFL’s may cost a little more at the grocery store than traditional bulbs, but the long-term savings can’t be beat.

Programmable Thermostat

Hey, these days you can program just about everything, so why not program your thermostat as well.  Programmable thermostats can save you 33% annually in energy bills, according to Home Depot.

Programmable thermostats allows you to automatically adjust your thermostat to be at its lowest setting when no one is in your home, and automatically raise the temperatures when your home is in use. Programmable thermostats help prevent unneeded use of your heating system when no one is at home.

Seal Door and Window Cracks

It’s never too late to seal the window and door cracks around your home.  Having cracks in your door frames and window frames is equivalent to leaving the doors and windows wide open.  Seal window and door frames today to save big on your heating and energy costs tomorrow.

Dress warm around the house

It’s winter time, you should be dressed warm both inside and out.  Now, I’m not saying your house needs to be an igloo, but setting your thermostat to 68 degrees will help keep energy costs low.  On cold days and nights like the one’s we’ve experienced so far this winter, that means you need to dress in long pants and long sleeves when sitting around the house (should we dare to suggest a sweatshirt?).

If you are chilly in the house, layer yourself up.  After all, it’s winter time, so stop parading around in your tee-shirt and shorts and acting like it’s mid-summer.

Fireplace

If you got it, light it.  For those lucky enough to have a fireplace, I probably don’t need to tell you there is nothing like a good fire.

A roaring fire will definitely heat the nearby rooms to the point where you can break out the tee-shirt and shorts again.  Depending on the size of your house, a fireplace might even heat the entire house, or at least a good portion.

Set the heat low, especially if the thermostat is in a room that won’t be heating by the fire.  If it’s feasible, sleep downstairs as the fire simmers out overnight – just be sure that programmable thermostat that you bought is set to turn on in the middle of the night!

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