Sparkling snowbanks and glassy icicles make winter a magical time. But as much as we love the frosty weather, it should stay where it belongs: outside. This season, make sure your home is ready to combat the big chill with our top 10 energy-saving tips:
- Switch your ceiling fan’s blade rotation. Chances are you’ve never thought about what direction your fan is spinning, but the blades’ rotation can actually help you save on your winter heating bill! Hot air rises, so reverse your fan’s blades to a clockwise rotation to help push that warmth right back down to you.
- Upgrade your wood-burning fireplace. Everyone loves a good crackling fire, but your old wood-burning fireplace could be costing you more than you think. Consider upgrading your fireplace to an EPA certified-model or more efficient insert – you will conserve energy and might even receive a tax credit (unfortunately, s’mores not included).
- Let the sunshine in. Take advantage of the world’s best furnace – the sun! Naturally heat your home by drawing the curtains of south-facing windows during the day; you’ll save money on your heating bill and benefit from the wintery backdrop.
- Weather-proof your windows. During the winter, up to 30% of your home’s heat can be escaping through low-efficiency windows. Upgrading to storm windows can reduce heat loss but often requires a costly install. For a budget-friendly alternative, cover windows and sliding doors with clear plastic film – this simple trick can save you roughly 14% on your heating bill.
- Get selective with a space heater. Why waste money heating every room in your home when you spend most of your time in the same few? Use a portable space heater in high-traffic areas like the living room and bedrooms to keep overall heating costs down throughout the season.
- Rock your winter wardrobe indoors. Scarves, earmuffs and mittens – oh my! Make your home your runway and stay bundled in your winter best. You can save 5% on for every degree you drop your thermostat between 60-70 degrees, so slip on some fuzzy socks and matching PJs to let your clothes do the warming.
- Avoid using your exhaust fans. Your bathroom fans and oven hoods are often-overlooked sources of heat loss in the winter. Use your exhaust fans sparingly, and turn them off when not in use to ensure your home’s warmth isn’t being pulled away.
- Swap out old bulbs with LEDs. If you haven’t switched out your homes lightbulbs for LEDs, winter is the perfect time to do so. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescents, which can lead to huge savings on your electricity bills during the winter months – especially if you opt for LED holiday lights as well.
- Invest in a smarter thermostat. We’re already spending extra money during the holiday season, so why not pick up savings with a programmable thermostat? This easy home upgrade can cut heating costs by up to 12% and will continue to reduce AC costs in the upcoming spring and summer – it’s a no-brainer!
- Do away with drafts. If you’re not careful, the winter chill can seep in under doors, around windows and even through electrical outlets. Drafts not only make it harder to properly warm your home, they also can eat away at your heating budget; install weather stripping and proper insulation to help keep the cold at bay.
It can be hard to balance your home’s comfort with your winter heating budget. We hope our tips help you find plenty of savings to carry you through the season. For even more transparency and control over your energy bill, check out our Choose Energy Estimator.