7 of the Best Ways Homeowners Can Save Energy this Winter
Many of us see our energy bills skyrocket when the weather gets colder. Homeowners spend more on heating and lighting during short, frosty days. Saving money on winter power costs is easy with a few key tactics, though. Finding small ways to save electricity will add up in the long run and keep you warm and cozy throughout the season.
1. Switch to LED Lightbulbs
This tip is the best place to start saving energy in winter. LED lightbulbs use upwards of 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and last on average 25 times longer. Even if you were to spend more money on a single LED lightbulb than a half-dozen incandescents, the LED would cost far less in the long run.
Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to the shorter daylight hours in winter. Artificial light has been proven instrumental in treating SAD, which can improve mood and wellness throughout the cold season. Using LED lightbulbs will not drive up your electricity bill.
2. Lower the Temperature a Few Degrees
It may sound counterintuitive, but lowering your house’s temperature by just a few degrees can add up to noticeable winter energy savings. Many of us crank up the thermostat when it gets cold out. Balmy indoor temps can be comfy, but they’ll cost you more. Instead, try keeping your home’s temperature to the lowest comfortable level possible in winter.
You can also try lowering the temperature at night. The cold will be less noticeable when you’re in bed.
3. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Homeowners who want to maximize their heating savings will find a smart thermostat to be a good investment. They allow you to automate temperature regulation in your home. There is a wide range available on the market today, so it’s easy to find one for any budget.
These devices are great for realizing winter energy savings. The thermostat can automatically lower the temperature when it detects that no one is home. You can remotely tell the thermostat to turn the temperature back up when you’re on your way back to the house. This seamlessly minimizes energy consumption year-round.
4. Upgrade Insulation
Insulation is a good place to start if you’re wondering how to keep more heat in your home during winter. Many of us tend to forget about the quality of our home’s insulation since it isn’t visible. However, setting aside the time and money to check it could result in long-term savings.
It’s a good idea to check some less common spots. For example, uninsulated air ducts lose up to 20% of air through leaks and holes. Adding insulation to your ducts can help them operate more efficiently, resulting in heating and cooling savings.
5. Change Your Furnace Filter
Your furnace filter is critical to your health and your home’s winter energy savings. Leaving one installed for too long can result in poor air quality inside your home. This will impact your health and overwork your furnace. Dirty and clogged filters make it difficult for air to get through, forcing your furnace to use more power.
You may need to change your filter as often as once a month, depending on the type your furnace uses. More frequent changes are usually a good idea in winter, especially if you have pets.
6. Check Door and Window Seals
Set aside some time to check all the seals around your home’s doors and windows. Winter home energy savings will get a noticeable boost if air leakage is minimized.
There are several methods for detecting leaks around doors and windows. It might be a bit tedious, but once you’ve pinpointed all of them, it’s simply a matter of resealing everything. This could be as simple as sliding a mat under a door or updating the weatherstripping around a window.
7. Use the Oven Strategically
One unique tactic for saving energy in your home during winter is thinking twice about using your oven. Do not open the door more than necessary when it is heating up and actively cooking something. This will ensure the appliance is using its power as efficiently as possible. Leave the door cracked after you’ve turned it off. This will let the heat drift out into your house, allowing you to give the furnace a break.
Saving Energy Year-Round
Prepping for winter energy savings will be well worth it and lower your bill all year. These tactics will improve the air quality in your home, maximize your HVAC efficiency and ensure that every watt is well spent.