We’re used to cold weather in North Dakota and Minnesota, but this winter even the heartiest among us are complaining about the subzero temps. Even our snowmen are asking for extra layers!
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), an average family spends nearly $2,000 a year on electricity bills and other utilities – and wasted energy during these cold months plays no small role in that number. So what can you do to head off those costs during these chilly winter months?
We’ve compiled a list of ways you can save on energy this winter so you can stay warm and still have money in the bank when the snow melts!
Heating & Insulation
Install a programmable thermostat for your home’s heating system.
Lower your thermostat a few degrees when you are not home.
Frequently change the filters in your furnace.
Use window treatments wisely. Open blinds during the day to let the sun heat your house but close them at night to minimize drafts.
Don’t heat rooms you rarely use. Make sure the rooms with a thermostat gets plenty of heat, but close heat vents and doors in rarely used rooms to reduce your energy consumption.
Insulate your attic, walls, basement (ceiling if your basement is unheated, walls and floor if it's heated), and crawl space.
Install storm windows and doors to help keep out drafts.
You may want to replace…
Traditional light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last between six and 12 times longer. Remember to turn off any lights that aren’t in use.
Your appliances. Look for those with an Energy Star logo when it’s time to upgrade – these products are designed to be energy efficient and save you money.
The way you charge. By using power strips to plug in portable heaters, television and cell phone chargers, you can control energy use by turning off the power switch when the devices are not in use.
Kitchen, Bathrooms & Laundry Rooms
Repair any water leaks in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc.
Only use the exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathrooms when necessary.
Keep the doors and windows closed while the heat is on.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater. Factory settings tend to be higher than necessary but a setting of 120º provides comfortable hot water for most uses.
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