8 Key Ways to Conserve Energy in the Winter
As many people understand, colder weather often brings higher gas or electric bills. If you live in a colder climate, you can expect to pay a premium to keep your house comfortable in the winter months. However, what if there are options that homeowners can take to improve their winter energy savings?
See below for several ways to conserve energy this winter...
When it comes to your windows, this is an area where you lose a fair amount of heat. However, if you make the change to windows with a low emissivity coating, you'll be helping to keep more of the heat inside your home. These windows are designed to reflect heat, so they'll actually help you save on cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. Installing new windows may have a higher initial cost, but it will save you money in the long run.
Use Smart Energy
This tip relies on using heating efficiently. If you have a moderate or larger sized home, then you probably don't need to heat every single room. For example, most people spend the majority of their time in the living room and only use the bedrooms in the evening. If you want to save money in your house, consider whether it makes more sense to heat the spaces you occupy primarily. This is an area where you may be able to use a smart thermostat or even a space heater. Be smart and diligent...finding an energy efficient home is not as difficult as you might think.
Some homeowners think that they'll save money if they turn off their heat when out of the house. However, this can be dangerous and also cost you more in the long run. Having the house at a consistent temperature will tend to save you more in the long run. If your house constantly has the heat off and on, you can use more energy than you might think. This is also an area where a smart thermostat is a good idea. While you don't have to keep your entire house at a hot temperature, keeping it at a low but consistent temperature is often a better option energy-wise.
Use Energy Smart Appliances
This tip has more to do with energy efficiency in general but it still plays a role in helping you save money on your energy bills. If you have a boiler, you may want to consider upgrading it to a newer model. Most appliances that are older tend to use up more energy. When it comes to the heating system in your home, you might be surprised that they actually end up costing you more in the long run. For example, if you have an oil tank, switching to a newer model can save up to 30% a year, which pays for itself rapidly.
If you're not sure of where your home is less energy efficient, consider calling in the experts. A professional energy assessment of your home is a good way to enjoy a lower monthly energy bill and make sure your home is eco-friendly at the same time.
Keep the Heat Settings Lower
This is a great option that is probably the simplest way to save on energy costs. If you lower your thermostat just 10 degrees for eight hours of the day, you can save as much as 10% on heating and cooling. This is a great option for anyone who works during the week and isn't around during at least eight hours a day. Use a programmable thermostat to lower the temperatures during the middle of the day and you can enjoy the cost savings at the same time.
Adjust Your Hot Water Heater
Although this isn't an area that most people consider hot water is a big user of energy. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your water heater at 120 degrees. Anything hotter than this just adds to your energy cost without providing any additional benefits. Every 10-degree reduction in your water heater will save at least 3% in your energy bill. If you find that you don't run out of hot water, consider decreasing your water heater thermostat a little more and you'll enjoy the benefits.
Seal Your Home
This is an area where many homes run into problems. Any small leaks can actually cost you a significant amount. There are many places where warm air can leak from a home and also let in colder air. Before winter strikes, make sure to check both the interior and exterior of the home. Look for any gaps and cracks. The primary areas to inspect include chimneys, pipes, windows, doors, and flues. You can fill in any small leaks with caulk. If you notice any larger leaks, you may need to use spray foam.
Insulate the Attic
If you have an attic in the house, you may be letting out heat through the roof. Even if your attic is insulated, make sure to pay attention to the attic door, It's fairly simple to insulate an attic and you may be able to do this on your own. If the entire attic is insulated except for the attic door, add a layer of insulation to the inside of the door. This will keep the heat inside the house and prevent it from rising into the attic where it's simply not needed.
Final Winter Energy Savings Advice
When it comes to simple and effective ways to save money on heating costs, some homeowners expect that recommended methods will be costly or ineffective. The good news is that while some of these options require an initial investment, they'll pay off in the long run. Plan your home remodeling projects wisely and you can spread the costs out so expensive efforts are more easily affordable.
Additionally, most of the methods require making a few small modifications to energy or home settings. If you're tired of high heating costs in the winter, then its time to make a change. Use these simple but effective ways to conserve energy in the winter.
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