How to Save Energy During the Winter

Thermostat with a winter hat.
  • Jan 4, 2024

Taking steps to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home is one of the most important and effective ways you can help protect our environment. During the winter, it’s even more important and yet more difficult, as keeping your home warm can take a lot of energy. Here are some simple ways you can reduce your energy usage 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 you can reduce your energy usage is by managing your thermostat wisely. Don’t use more heat than you need to: adjust your thermostat when you’re out of the house, when you’re on vacation, and even at night 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 you stay warm when you’re home and save energy when you’re not.

Person adjusting smart thermostat in their home

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Let sunlight in

Take advantage of the sun’s warming rays. Allow sunlight to naturally warm the rooms that receive direct sunlight during the day. 

6. Utilize your blankets and sweatshirts

Getting more comfortable with bundling up inside your home can help you keep the temperature a tad lower. At night, try using an additional blanket on your bed while lowering the temperature by 1-2 degrees to save energy while you sleep.

7. 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.

8. Upgrade your insulation 

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

9. 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. You can also choose LED lights for any holiday lights you buy this winter.

10. Turn down your water heater

According to the Department of Energy, water heating accounts for about 18% of the average electricity bill—making it the second largest energy expense in your home. Turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees) can help reduce your energy costs.

11. Replace your air filters

Replacing dirty air filters with new, clean filters will improve airflow and increase the efficiency of your HVAC 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 warm air in and cold air out. 

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 refrigerator, dishwasher, or dryer. Check out to find energy-efficient products and rebates.

17. Conserve energy while doing the dishes and 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.

18. Make sure you turn off the lights every time you leave a room

Developing this simple habit can add up to a big impact over time. Encourage everyone in your household to do the same to achieve an even greater impact.

19. Unplug and get outside!

Give your electronics a rest, and go play in the snow or enjoy a walk in the crisp winter air. You can always appreciate everything that Mother Nature has to offer, even in the coldest time of the year!

Family walking through the snow in winter

Small steps like these can make a big difference in your home’s energy consumption—helping you save both energy and money. Once you’ve followed these winter energy-saving tips to cut back on your energy usage, make sure the energy you do use comes from clean, green sources. By choosing CleanChoice Energy for your home, you can play a role in fighting climate change and creating a cleaner planet for us all. Learn more about how you can choose 100% clean, renewable energy for your home today!