How to Save Energy During the Winter

Thermostat with a winter hat.
  • Nov 22, 2022

Everybody wants to keep their home warm during the cold winter season. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of energy. In fact, heating accounts for about 29% of the average residential utility bill. Here are some simple ways you can reduce your energy use during the cold winter months—lowering both your energy bill and your carbon footprint:

1. Be smart with your thermostat. One of the most effective ways to reduce your energy use is to manage your thermostat wisely. Don’t use more heat than you need to—try turning your thermostat down at night or when you’re out of the house to save energy and money.

2. Invest in a smart thermostat. By allowing you to adjust the temperature from your smartphone and automatically self-adjusting based on the current weather, smart thermostats can help keep you comfortable when you’re home and save energy when you’re not.

3. Update the insulation of your attic, doors, windows, floors, roof, and walls to help prevent heat from escaping your home, helping your heating system run more efficiently.

4. Use rugs to insulate floors. Putting rugs in rooms with hardwood or tile floors can help make the rooms feel warmer, allowing you to keep the thermostat a bit lower.

5. Only heat necessary places. Try to avoid heating areas of your home that don’t need to be heated (and might not be insulated), such as your garage, attic, basement, or crawlspace.

6. Let sunlight in. Allow the sunlight to naturally warm the rooms that receive direct sunlight during the day.

7. Utilize your blankets and sweatshirts. Getting more comfortable with bundling up inside your home can help you keep the temperature lower.

8. Switch your ceiling fan’s rotation. Since hot air rises, reversing the direction of your ceiling fan’s blades from counterclockwise to clockwise can push warm air back down and help keep your home warmer.

9. Turn down your water heater. Water heating accounts for about 20% of the average electricity bill. Turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) can help reduce your energy consumption.

10. Don’t waste energy while doing the dishes or your laundry. Use cold water to wash your clothes, hang your laundry to dry instead of using the dryer, and turn off the heated drying setting on your dishwasher to save a surprising amount of energy.

11. Replace your air filters to improve airflow and increase the efficiency of your heating system. This simple step could lower your energy consumption by up to 15%

12. Clean your air ducts and vents. Cleaning out all the dust and dirt that has accumulated makes things easier for both your lungs and your heating system. You’ll save energy and may even increase the system’s lifespan.

13. Seal your air ducts. Leaky air ducts can reduce the efficiency of heating systems by up to 30%. Sealing and insulating ducts can prevent you from wasting a significant amount of energy and money.

14. Seal any air leaks. Caulking, sealing, and weather-stripping cracks and openings around your windows, doors, or any other openings can help keep air from leaking out of or into your home, helping your heating system run at maximum efficiency.

15. Have your HVAC system serviced. Having your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once a year helps ensure it’s working at maximum efficiency. 

16 Switch to Energy Star appliances. Increase your home's energy efficiency by upgrading to an Energy Star-certified dishwasher, refrigerator, or dryer. Check out to find energy-efficient products and rebates.

17. Switch to energy-efficient lighting. Did you know that LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescents? Swapping out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs can save a ton of energy and money over time. 

Small steps like these can make a big difference in your home’s energy consumption. Once you’ve cut back on your energy use, make sure the energy you do use comes from clean, green sources. Learn more about how you can choose 100% clean, renewable energy for your home today!