During the winter, many households spend far more on electricity. In many cases, this is due to needing to heat their homes. Whether you use wall heaters, central heat, or anything in between, it can cause your electric bill to rise. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to save on your electric bill this winter. Here’s what you can do.
Have Your Heating System Serviced
Routine maintenance ensures that your heating system is operating efficiently. At the start of winter, check your filters and replace them if needed. Then, consider replacing them monthly or as needed, as buildup on the filters strains your heating system.
Also, have a professional service technician come in and go over your system. They can make sure that it’s in good shape or make repairs to increase your energy efficiency.
Lower Your Temperatures
One of the simplest ways to save money on your winter electric bill is by lowering the temperature on your thermostat. Even a few degrees can make a difference, so find the lowest temperature that you can deal with and keep your thermostat there.
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can also make other changes. For example, you can reduce the temperature a little more at night while you’re sleeping. You could also set it up to keep your house cooler when you’re at work, suggesting it’s high enough to keep any pets comfortable.
Lowering the temperature on your electric water heater can also make a difference. If yours is set to 140°F, reduce it to 120°F instead. Generally, that still keeps baths and showers comfortable, but it costs far less.
Warm Your House with the Sun
Opening up curtains on windows that are hit with direct sunlight can warm your home, even during the winter. When you wake up in the morning, make sure to open the curtains on any south-facing windows, as those typically get the most sunlight. Then, as the sun starts getting low, close the curtains to keep the heat inside.
Improve Your Insulation and Windows
Home insulation and the quality of your windows impact heat transfer. If there isn’t enough of a barrier between your interior and the outside world, you’ll spend more heating your home.
Check your attic insulation to see if it’s suitable. If not, consider refreshing it to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Having double-pane windows also helps. However, if you can’t afford to upgrade your windows, putting on insulating window films can make a difference.
Install Insulating Curtains
Insulating curtains are designed specifically to help maintain your home’s temperature. By installing them on your windows, you get an extra barrier against the cold air outside. By making sure they fit close to the window, they can also combat drafts.
Turn on Your Ceiling Fans
While it’s counterintuitive, turning your ceiling fans on can actually reduce your heating costs. Most ceiling fans have switches that change their direction. By reversing the spin, the ceiling fan pushes hot air down, keeping you more comfortable. Just make sure to clean off any dust first and use the lowest speed setting available.
Do you have any tips based on what you did when figuring out how to save on your electric bill that would help others? Have you tried any of the options above and want to discuss your results? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald is a U.S. Army veteran with 20 years of service, including five years as a military financial advisor. After retiring from the Army, she spent eight years as an AFCPE-certified personal financial advisor for wounded warriors and their families. Now she writes about personal finance and benefits programs for numerous financial websites.