5 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Winter
When the snow is falling outside, it can be tempting to crank the heat inside to stay warm and cozy. While it might be nice to walk around indoors in a pair of shorts, at the end of the month you might be in for a surprise when you get your energy bill. Those days of comfort come at a cost, but luckily there are measures you can take to help bring down your energy bill.
Once your HVAC system is prepared for the colder weather and you can turn it on, try out these 5 ways to save on your energy costs this winter.
Check for Drafts
To keep your HVAC system running efficiently, and to keep any heat it generates inside and not out, check for drafts in your home. These can come in the form of weathered seals around doors and windows, or cracked vents in a fireplace.
To quickly check for drafts in your home, take your hand and follow the edges of windows and doors. If you feel slight chill in any area, there could be a draft. To confirm, head to a local home improvement store and pick up a tool to help you narrow down where the draft is. Once you’ve found it, re-seal the window with caulk or replace any weather stripping around your doors.
Leave Your Blinds Open During the Day
In Colorado, where we have sunshine almost every day, leaving your blinds open during the day is a great way to keep your home warm without pushing your HVAC system. The natural light can either help maintain a relatively comfortable temperature inside or depending which direction your windows are facing, it can even help your home warm up.
Another benefit of letting that light in? It’ll make you feel better! With the early sunsets of winter you’ll want to get as much sunlight as you can. That natural warmth is good for you and good for your wallet.
Install Thick, Insulating Curtains
In the evenings your homes HVAC system will have to work a little harder to keep everything warm since it won’t have the sun to help. After you’ve left the blinds open all day to let the sun warm your home, at night you’ll want to close them so they can act as insulation and keep the warmth in.
The type of curtain you have is also important as some are quite sheer and won’t provide any benefit to you. Look for thicker curtains or ones marketed as light-blocking. They’ll typically be made from a denser material and do a better job of creating a buffer between your cold window and the inside of your home.
If you have single pane windows having curtains and blinds it is especially important as they are not great at insulating your home and keeping the heat in. On a cold night, hold your hand up next to the window. With single pane, you can often feel the chill right through the glass.
Turn your Fan on Reverse
This tip sounds counter intuitive, but in the winter you’ll want to turn on your fan. Before you flip the switch though, make sure it is running in reverse so it can draw the cold air upwards and away from you. This works by pulling cold air up, then pushing the hot air that is near the ceiling of your home out and down.
On most fans there is a switch on the side of the housing that can be used to make sure the fan blades are moving in a clockwise direction. Once you’ve made this change, turn the speed on low to prevent feeling the airflow, and enjoy up to a 10% savings on energy costs.
Use Your Thermostat
In the summer your thermostat is your best friend – turning the A/C on when needed, and powering it down when you’re already cool and comfortable. Use the automatic capabilities of your thermostat in winter, too and only run your HVAC system when you actually need it.
With a digital thermostat you can program it to only run during certain times of the day, or to maintain a lower temperature when you are not at home. You’ll most likely want to run your heat 24/7 during the colder parts of the year, but it won’t need to run at full blast while you’re at work for 8 hours or more a day. Have it set to start warming up right before you would get home in the evenings and have it power down during the day when you’re not home.
Start Saving Money on Your Energy Bills
With a few simple steps you can start to see a decrease in the costs it takes to heat your home. One more tip that is not necessarily a crowd favorite is to wear a light sweater or some warmer clothes while you’re indoors and at home to help you warm up without running your HVAC system. You’ll typically be able to run it a few degrees warmer than you normally would. Over time, this has the potential to save you a bit of money, though the other tips are a great place to start.
If you want to learn more about saving money on your energy costs this winter, give us a call