10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Winter Electric Bill
Struggling with the jump in your electric bill from last month? In our area, many are reporting increases of up for 140%! Ours doubled; so I can relate to the stress of stretching an already thin budget even further.
According to the professionals, there are several things you can do that will help you save on your electric bill.
Change Your Filter
A dirty air filter will cause your heating system work harder, which results in it using more energy. Mark your calendar and change it once a month or purchase two of the washable ones. You can rotate the filters and leave the washed one out to dry without having to turn off your system or run without a filter.
Program Your Thermostat
On average, your savings will be around 10 percent a year is you will simply turn your thermostat back 10 degrees for ten hours a day. Programmable thermostats allow you to automatically set specific temperatures at different times of the day. Be careful with this one because making major changes several times during the day will actually use more energy than leaving it alone at a lower setting.
Loosen a couple of bulbs
Consider reducing the number of bulbs in multi bulb units such as a bathroom or chandelier that has 6-8 bulbs, try tightening only 3 or 4. You may find that this is enough light without using the extra bulbs. I just untighten the unwanted bulbs but leave them in case the extra light is needed and as a precaution with little ones in the home.
Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep the air moving. This results in staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Make sure to change the operation between the seasons. Up for winter, down for summer. Make sure to turn off fans when leaving the room.
Unplug energy consuming devices
Set up and use the energy-saving features commonly built into many devices. Use a power strip and turn it off when not in use. Some power strips now will go into sleep mode when devices are not in use.
Use CFL bulbs
Replace standard light bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs. Also only use the bulb wattage that you need.
Lower your water heater temperature setting
Newer models have timers that will allow you to have the unit turn on or off. Consider using the vacation setting if you are going to be gone for the weekend or longer. Programmable thermostats are available at reasonable costs. Heating hot water reportedly uses up to thirty percent of your total heating costs.
Use space heater
Do you find that you spend most of your time in one or two rooms? Why heat the entire house when you can just heat the area you spend the most time?
Invest in a heating blanket
These have changed so much over the past ten years. I used to be so concerned about using them on my children’s beds that I would turn them on to warm the bed and then turn them off when the children climbed in. They called them “Warmer Blankets” because they warmed the bed enough to crawl in!
Wear more clothes
OK I know this one sounds silly, but before reaching for the thermostat try reaching for a sweater or a pair of socks! Grab a throw blanket when sitting on the couch.
Of course, these are just a few of the unlimited ways you can save a little or a lot on your heating expenses. What tips have you found that save you money on your electric bill?