Tips to help save money on heating and power bills during the cold weather.
As the temperature falls, your energy bill tends to rise. But you can help slash your heating and energy bills if you’ve got the right strategies to combat common problems that cause those costs to creep up. Whether it’s turning down your thermostat at night, making sure your fireplace damper is closed or sealing leaks and drafts, using the right tactics to tackle common problems during cold weather helps keep those bills as low as possible.
Winter Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home
Problem: Windows are drafty.
Tip: Insulate! You can pick up a store-bought kit that comes complete with clear plastic and adhesive — or DIY it using double-sided tape to secure plastic shrink wrap to your window frames. It’ll let the sunlight in and help keep chilly drafts out. Call in an expert if you think it might be time for new windows.
Problem: Leaks invite the cold inside.
Tip: Find leaks and drafts around your house. Use a smoke stick to check doors and areas where utilities come in from outside (pipes, the cable connection, your dryer vent), and seal them up. You can buy pre-cut insulation pads to install under the plates that cover electrical outlets and light switches on outside walls.
Problem: Your thermostat is set to the same temp night and day.
Tip: Turn your thermostat down before going to bed and when you leave the house. Better yet, get a smart thermostat that can do the work for you.
Problem: Heat escapes through your fireplace.
Tip: When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. That way, warm air won’t escape up the chimney. Just be sure to open it before you build a fire, or the house will fill with smoke.
Problem: Your furnace is doing all the work to keep your family warm.
Tip: Open your blinds and curtains on south-facing windows during the day to let the sun shine in. Close them at night to insulate from the cold. You could also stay warm like they did in the olden days: Put on a sweater.
Problem: You tend to go a little crazy with the holiday lights.
Tip: You can get your inner Clark Griswold on and still save money on your energy bill by using LED lights (though they’ll cost you more up front).