Mercury is falling and you can feel the chill in the air. Yes, winter is approaching. As we put off fans and air conditioners and turn on the heat, most of us don’t realize how much we are spending to keep ourselves warm. It is winter, but you will still wonder why your electricity bills aren’t dropping. Surprising but true, hundreds of efforts done to winterize your home actually end up in higher electricity bills. And you are actually posing a threat to the environment with high energy consumption. So, how can you be warm and comfortable inside your home while cutting off those seasonally high electricity bills? Here are some fantastic electricity saving tips to winterize your home and make it warm and cozy, conserve energy, and prevent global warming at the same time.
Check Your Home’s Insulation
In an older home, insulating the attic is perhaps one of the most cost-effective ways to cut down home heating costs. Many homes are built with little or no insulation and hence, large amount of heat is lost through floors, walls, and ceilings. You can also insulate the attic hatch or door or weather-strip it to prevent warm air from escaping from the top of the house. Cover or seal all holes such as ventilations, open wall tops and duct, electrical or plumbing runs that are a big energy waster. Insulating your home may not only keep your home warm and cozy, but also prevent energy wastage.
Check for Leaks
Leaks and improperly sealed houses can lead to almost 10-15% of your heating bills. To save energy and keep your home warm, follow these tips:
- Check whether your windows are leaking because they have the maximum chance of doing so. If yes, replace them with new and more efficient ones. Though replacing windows can be expensive, you can think in the long run how it can save your energy bills in winters to come
- Check windows and doors for drafts and leaks. If you find holes that are causing heat to escape, add caulk or weather-strip, and seal the doors properly
- Every wire, duct or pipe that goes through the ceiling, wall or floor can cause energy wastage. To prevent this, seal all these with weather-stripping or caulking
- Thoroughly examine the ducts for any leaks. Over the time, the ducts can become crushed, torn or flattened, causing warm air to escape without you even knowing about it
Check the Heating System
Often, an old heating system may be the main culprit eating away a major portion of your electricity bill. Here are some tips to ensure your heating system is functioning properly:
- Get regular inspection and maintenance of the heating system to ensure it is in good working condition
- If the heating system is too old, you might consider replacing it with a new and more efficient one. This way you can cut down on your energy consumption dramatically
- As recommended by the manufacturer, replace the heating system’s air filter regularly. This way the heater will work more efficiently, consume less energy, and last longer
- Turning off the heating system completely, letting the room temperature drop, an again reheating can actually be more expensive than you can think. It consumes more energy to warm a completely cool home than to maintain warm, comfortable temperature throughout the day. You can use a set-back thermostat that lets the heating system turn down the heat when you are sleeping at night or away at work, and again boost temperature when you need. This way you can cut your electricity costs up to 75%
Update Lighting System
Though it is not directly related to keep your home toasted during winter, updating your lighting system to more energy efficient ones is one of the easiest ways to conserve electricity. Replace incandescent bulbs and old light fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs or CFLs, fixtures, and lighting controls such as timers and dimmers.
Use Space Heaters
Your home’s central heating system can also lead to huge electricity bills at the end of the month. Using electric space heaters can help you save good money if you are considering putting off the main heating system. Even if you don’t have central heating system, portable space heaters are just wonderful and cost-efficient to make your home warm and cozy, especially when your family and friends gather up together for some quality time.
Keep the Floor Warm
A good amount of heat is lost through the floor. No wonder, why you have cold feet. It means your home isn’t well-insulated or winterized properly. However, not everyone has the budget to install radiant heating beneath the floors. So, you can consider placing rugs and carpets in bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, and other areas with hardwood, tile, or marble flooring. This is a good idea to keep the room warm as well as save energy consumption. This way your heating system will also function fast and efficiently, further saving electricity.
Use Heavy Drapes for Windows
Besides having blankets, duvets, and heavier sheets to fight the chill, don’t forget the windows. Using heavy drapes on windows can help in conserving warmth, without any electricity consumption. However, keep the drapes, blinds, and shades open on sunny days to get abundant solar heat for free, and pull them on during the night.
It is not necessary that you will feel cold at the same level as your family in the room. However, instead of turning on the thermostat to have everyone’s comfort level, get an electric blanket. Unlike the myth, electric blankets consume very less energy and can be used safely even during the night. Make sure that you turn the power off when not in use.
With these fantastic electricity saving tips to winterize your home, enjoy the chill rather than worrying about your electricity bill. Instead of going by the myths, follow that is true and will keep your home warm and cozy without consuming too much energy.
How do you winterize your home? Share your electricity saving tips with us.