Once the summer warmth starts slipping away, a well-known dread quickly takes its place – the one of high energy bills. But with just a few tweaks to your habits and equipment, you can have lower and reliant energy costs.
Here are a few essential and easy-to-follow tips to make the fall and winter seasons warm, cozy, and easy on your wallet.
Use Natural Sunlight
Many people tend to forget that the sun doesn’t actually disappear after the summer. There’s still lots of sunlight which can make a big difference to the overall temperature of your home, as long as you let it in.
That’s why keeping the blinds and curtains closed on sunny days is equivalent to throwing money out the window.
Furthermore, if you’re at home during the day and don’t take advantage of the natural light, this probably means you’re using artificial one, which costs money.
Insulate Drafts and Air Leaks
Air leaks and drafts are one of your worst enemies during the cold months. Even the most efficient heating system can’t make up for those for free.
Air leaks naturally occur around windows and doors. Caulk and weather-stripping are the usual choices for sealing them.
Ducts are another source of air leaks which can be particularly chilling, so to speak, as it can often go overlooked. You need to investigate them for any loose joints and leaking points and isolate them.
Insulate Water Heater Tanks
This can reportedly reduce your water heating costs by roughly 10%.
Use Smart Equipment
Smart thermostats and air conditioners can help you go a long way in reducing your energy bills over the fall and winter.
Experts believe that turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day can reduce your electricity bills by up to 10% a year. Naturally, the best time to do that is when you sleep or are out of the house. Smart thermostats and air conditioners are particularly beneficial in that regard, especially during sleep times, as you can set them to maintain a higher temperature until you drift away, and after a certain time, they will lower the temperature automatically without you having to wake up and disrupt your rest.
Keeping your home very warm when you’re away is also wasteful, and while you can take care of this without programmable equipment, smart devices will do it for you automatically, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
Take Care of Your Heating System
When was the last time you had your heating system checking, by a professional or at least you? If you’re having to think too long about this answer, chances are it has been too long.
Dust build-up and dirty airflows seriously hinder the efficiency of your heating system, which respectively increases your bills.
If your heating system hasn’t had a check-up in a while, it’s best that you call a HVAC technician rather than taking a DIY approach.
Keep Yourself Warm
Many people tend to focus entirely on making their home warm, when in fact, it’s you that’s mostly the problem. If you feel warm, it doesn’t really matter how cold the house is, unless you have guests.
Buying things like electrical blankets, thermal underwear, thin knit hats, and warm slippers make a huge difference to your inner temperature and state. Keeping your house as warm as a sauna to walk around in your T-shirt is nonsensical and wasteful. Some people, especially those who work from home on a computer, even like to keep a throw blanket, which also makes watching TV on the couch all-the-cozier.
Make the Most of Alternative Heat Sources
Creativity goes a long way in maintaining your house warm on a budget during the fall and winter.
For example, the oven generates a lot of heat when you cook. Keeping it closed after you’re done means you’re just letting it all go to waste. Leave it open to kill two birds with one stone.
The same idea applies to showers. Ventilating it doesn’t make sense unless it’s summer. Leave the door open after you shower to let all the warm steam spill all over your house and provide some warmth.
Another prime example of how thinking outside the box can tangibly affect your expenditures is reversing the direction of your ceiling fan blades. Because warm air rises while cold air stays down, this trick literally turns things around, pushing the warm air down toward you at no additional cost.
The shorter days during the cold seasons mean more need for artificial light. LED lights are more energy-efficient and last longer.
Staying nice and warm during the cold months without breaking the bank is much easier than you might think, as long as you adhere to a few simple principles and take advantage of the technological innovations.