The trees are beginning to shed their colorful fall leaves, and before we know it, the Appalachian mountains will be dusted with snow. In addition to holidays and hot cocoa, winter also brings a harsh chill which tends to result in some increased expenses. Here are 12 tips to help you save money (and energy!) this winter.
- Run Your Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise
While it might seem counterintuitive to run your fan at all during the winter, setting it to run counterclockwise on a slow speed can actually help circulate warmer air into the room. As heat rises, a fan running counterclockwise will push that warm air back down. You can manually adjust this setting by flipping a switch on your fan. Just don’t forget to switch it back in the spring!
- Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Lowering your water heater temperature in the winter will reduce the amount of energy used to keep the water at a higher temperature. As long as you stay between 120 F and 125 F, your water will still be hot enough for things like showering and doing the dishes.
- Put Air In Your Car Tires
As the temperature decreases, so does the air pressure in your car tires. Low air pressure in your car tires can have a negative effect on your gas mileage and increase your chance of a blowing a tire.
- Weather Strip Drafty Windows And Doors
A draft in your home means cold air is coming in AND warm air is leaking out, so check your windows and doors for drafts, and weather strip where necessary.
- Close The Curtains (Except In Direct Sunlight)
Keeping your blinds and curtains closed ads an extra layer of insulation to your windows. However, when your windows are in direct sunlight, letting the sunshine in can have a slight warming effect on your home.
- Close Off Unoccupied Rooms
Reduce the amount of space being heated, and therefor energy used, by keeping doors and vents closed in areas of your home you don’t spend too much time in.
- Wash Your Hands
Your chances of catching a virus or cold, resulting in additional healthcare costs, increase during the winter, but you can reduce those chances by up to 21% by properly washing your hands. Put your health first this winter!
- Cook At Home
While cooking at home will save you money on meals, it won’t exactly reduce your energy costs. However, some of the heat will escape your oven, slightly raising the temperature in your home. In the summer, this heat is wasted, but in the winter, it is welcomed.
- Keep Warm With Blankets And Extra Layers
Before you crank the heat all the way up, make sure you’re dressed for the weather – even at home. Dress in layers, and keep blankets in the rooms you hangout in. And don’t forget the socks!
- Use A Humidifier
Heating your home usually dries out the air. Moist air is more effective at holding heat, and it also feels warmer than dry air.
- Do Not Use Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans are used to expel excess moisture from a room, which is why many people turn them on when they shower. In doing so, they’re blowing warm air from inside the house outside. Instead, try leaving the door cracked while you shower. This can also help humidify the air in your home!
- Install LED Lights
As your light bulbs burn out, replace them with LED lights. While more expensive up front, energy efficient bulbs last 3-25 times longer and use 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. This will save you money year round, but especially in the winter when there’s less natural daylight to live by. Be sure to look into energy efficient holiday decorations too!