As we head into cooler months, it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat to keep the house nice and toasty while the temperature drops outside. But unless you live in a small, well-insulated apartment or tiny house, warming up a whole home can get very expensive pretty quickly. Go easier on your wallet (not to mention the planet) with these easy tips for reducing your energy usage this fall and winter.
Turn down the heat.
Yes, this one is obvious, but not the most fun if it’s chilly outside and you’re trying to enjoy your cozy house. An extra blanket or thick sweater ups the cozy factor and keeps you warm, even if your house is a few degrees cooler.
Upgrade your thermostat.
Many thermostats, especially in older homes, don’t work as well as they used to or simply haven’t kept pace with technology, making them less efficient at regulating the temperature in your home, which uses more energy. Installing a new thermostat or even getting a smart thermostat can help save money.
Pay attention to your curtains.
Open them during the day to let warm sunlight into your house, and close them at night to help insulate against chilly breezes. You can even buy thermal curtains to help regulate the air temperature around your windows.
Make sure your house is well-insulated.
Without proper insulation, your heat will escape through the walls, and cold will find its way inside. Plus, check doors and windows to ensure they’re sealing properly and not letting in drafty air.
Try air-drying your clothes.
It may sound antiquated, but clothes dryers use a tremendous amount of heat and energy. To cut down on that, invest in a drying rack and hang your laundry to dry.
Think about how you cook your dinner.
If you’re heating up the oven every night to make one meal at a time, think about trying out a slow-cooker. They make several days’ worth of meals at a time using very little energy.
Get a better power strip.
Smart power strips can help keep your appliances from using energy when you’re not using them. For example, you can also use these to quickly turn on and off holiday lights in one quick switch, saving time and energy.
Make sure your air vents are clear.
Check air vents in your house to make sure nothing is blocking them and change the filters regularly. Clean filters move air more efficiently through your house, saving energy.
Buy new light bulbs.
LED light bulbs can use 75% less energy than conventional bulbs. They cost a little bit more, but they also last a lot longer, so you end up saving money twice in the long run.
Look into community solar.
More cities are getting community solar installations, which are basically solar arrays that you can subscribe to using a couple of different financial mechanisms based on an array is nearby. Check with your utility provider to see if you can save money by going green.
Check your HVAC.
Schedule an appointment with a professional to check your systems and make sure everything is running correctly. An inefficient heating system will cost you money.
Turn down your water heater.
The suggested maximum temperature for water is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water is getting hotter than that, it’s not only costing you more, but it can be dangerous.
With these tips, you’ll be able to keep warm and cozy all winter while keeping your energy bill down. Make yourself a cup of hot tea and decide how to spend your savings!
Finances FYI is presented by 1st Security Bank.
At 1st Security Bank of Washington, we take a customized and personal approach to your financial well-being. We live in the communities we serve, so our branches offer tailored solutions to their communities. We believe relationships make the difference, and that sets 1st Security Bank apart.