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 a whopping 45% of the average residential utility bill. Here are some simple ways you can reduce your energy use during the 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. Turn your thermostat down at night or when you’re out of the house to save energy and money—and consider investing in a programmable thermostat so you can schedule temperature changes.
2. Better insulate your home. Updating the insulation of your attic, doors, windows, floors, roof, and walls can help prevent heat from escaping your home, allowing you to keep the thermostat a bit lower.
3. Use rugs to insulate floors. Putting rugs in rooms with hardwood or tile floors can help make the rooms feel warmer.
4. Turn down your water heater. Water heating accounts for 18% of the average utility bill. Turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) can help reduce your energy consumption.
5. Use space heaters in the areas where you spend the most time, such as your bedroom, home office, or kitchen, so you can turn down the thermostat a bit.
6. Use towel warmers in your bathroom. By providing you with a warm towel after a shower or bath and serving as a small space heater in your bathroom, towel warmers can make turning down the thermostat feel a lot more manageable.
7. Utilize your blankets and sweatshirts. Getting more comfortable with bundling up inside your home can help you keep the temperature lower.
8. Use quilted curtains to prevent heat from escaping your home, particularly with drafty windows.
9. Let sunlight in. You don’t need solar panels to take advantage of the sun—allow the sunlight to naturally warm the rooms that receive direct sunlight during the day (you can open up those quilted curtains).
10. 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.
11. Use LED lights for decorating. If you’re decorating your home with string lights, consider switching to LED lights. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent lights.
12. 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.
13. Replace your air filters to improve airflow and increase the efficiency of your heating system.
14. Take steps before traveling. Doing things such as setting your lights (including your decorative string lights) on a timer, unplugging all of your electronics, and properly programming your thermostat can help save a ton of unnecessary energy while you’re away.
While all of these are great ways to save energy this winter, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate your energy use. Make the switch to clean energy today to help you feel better about the energy you do use!