The following post is from Melissa Batai
While you may welcome the crisp air and all things pumpkin during the fall, you also may be dreading the season that follows—winter—and the high electric bills that cold weather brings. For many, winter time and the corresponding darker and colder days put a strain on their budget because their electric bill climbs so high.
However, there are many free things that you can do now to save money on electricity as we enter the cold season.
Lower the Thermostat
If you’re used to keeping your house at 70 degrees in the winter, try to go down to 69 or 68. Even that little change can make a difference in your electric bill.
Dress in Layers
Make up for the reduction in thermostat temperature by wearing layers—socks and slippers, sweater over a t-shirt, etc. One woman I know even invested in thermal pants to wear under her jeans to stay warm while she was home.
Open the Oven Door After Baking
When you’re done baking a meal in the oven, turn off the oven and open the oven door. Your kitchen will be warmer as all the warm oven air is released. (Please don’t do this while the oven is still on!)
Close Closet Doors
If you leave closet doors open, you’re heating those areas, which isn’t necessary. Close your closet doors to save on electricity.
Don’t Block Air Vents with Furniture
Blocking air vents causes air flow blockage, which can potentially damage the heater by creating cracks in the HVAC system. You then pay more money because the air then flows through the cracks in your heater that blocked air created. Move all furniture away from vents, and make sure your drapes aren’t accidentally covering the vents.
Check and Replace Filters as Needed
Having dirty filters causes your heater to be less efficient. It has to work harder, so you’ll pay more in electricity. Simply changing your air filters every one to three months can reduce your heating bill significantly. Plus, routinely having dirty filters puts your entire HVAC system at risk.
Use Fleece or Flannel Sheets
If you’re keeping the thermostat lower, use fleece or flannel sheets on the bed. These tend to retain your body heat more, making the bed warmer, so you don’t notice how chilly the rest of the house is.
Harness Natural Light
Even though the days are shorter, you can still harness natural light by opening all of your window coverings during the day to avoid using artificial light.
Find the Electric Company’s Peak Use Time
Some electric company’s charge you more when you use electricity during peak times such as 3 to 7 p.m. If you can do things like take a shower, run the dishwasher, run a load of laundry, and use the oven during off peak times, you’ll pay a cheaper rate for electricity. Your electric company’s website should have this information available.
For most parts of the country, electric bills skyrocket in the winter, but you can reduce the amount you pay by following these simple tips, all of which are free to you.
My Question for You
What do you do to save money on electricity in the winter? Do you use any of these tips? Do you use a different strategy that you’d recommend?