There is a lot to love about winter. However, there are also things about winter that are not so wonderful. Higher electric bills are a good example. Unless you are a glutton for financial punishment, you do not enjoy opening the electric bill and seeing it higher during the winter. You would just as soon have it stay the same.
Be that as it may, consuming more electricity during the winter months is normal. With a change of mindset and a few energy efficiency strategies though, you can reduce the size of your electric bill.
Saving Energy in Home Heating
Winter electric bills are most challenging to people who heat exclusively with electric. For you, the single most important thing you can do is increase the energy efficiency of your home. The less heat that escape, the less money you will spend keeping the house warm. In the meantime:
- Seal Your Windows – Check every window in your house. If any are drafty, seal them up with a window sealing kit from your DIY store. Drafty windows leak heat and waste energy.
- Adjust the Thermostat – Next, adjust your thermostat so you aren’t unnecessarily heating when you don’t have to. Turn the heat down at night when you are sleeping and during the day while you’re at work. Better yet, get a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts based on your lifestyle.
If you have forced air heating, you will not spend as much on electric to heat your home. Still, you will spend more. You can reduce the winter bills by checking your furnace filter and replacing it if it’s dirty. Also be sure to keep all cold air returns open. Don’t block cold air returns or vents.
Saving Energy on Lighting
The shorter days and longer nights mean most of us have the lights on for more hours. Is there anything you can do about the higher cost of lighting? Absolutely. First and foremost, replace any incandescent bulbs you still have in your house with LED bulbs. You can buy LED bulbs at your DIY store or get them online while you’re doing your holiday shopping.
Next, don’t waste energy by lighting unused rooms. If you’re leaving a room vacant behind you, turn the light off on your way out. If you are so inclined, install motion sensors on your light fixtures. They automatically turn lights on when you enter and shut them off when you leave.
Outdoors, you might be planning to put up Christmas lights. Once again, get rid of the incandescents and replace them with LEDs. A new set of LED Christmas lights consumes up to 75% less energy. You can deck out your house as you always have but spend a lot less.
Limit TV and Computer Time
Finally, it just so happens that being stuck indoors for longer periods of time is a temptation to watch more TV and spend more time on the computer. You can actually reduce your electric bill during the winter by limiting TV and computer time.
Both devices consume quite a bit of electricity just producing video images. If you’re willing to turn them off and do other things, you probably won’t consume as much power. Consider reading a book or playing board games with the family. Invite friends over for some conversation over a bottle of wine. Finding other things to do will save energy and, quite possibly, strengthen your relationships at the same time.
Reducing your electric bill during the winter is all about using less power. If you can find ways to do that, your budget will benefit.