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15 Tips to Lower Your Energy Bill This Winter

Close your crawl space vents.

Your crawl spaces are the perfect place for cold air to hide. The vents allow the air to blow into your house and make it a lot colder than it should be. By closing them, you’re preventing the cold air from gathering beneath your house. Doing this does more than just lowering your energy bill. Closing your vents could also prevent spending tons of money down the line. If left open, your floors will end up cold and your pipes could freeze. Trying to use them could result in a busted pipe. Yikes!

However, homeowners should keep in mind that closing the vents can be a little dangerous during warmer days. By keeping them closed, moisture is trapped under your home. This moisture can quickly cause wood rot and cause costly repairs. It's a delicate balance, but opening your vents in the summer and closing them during the winter is the best way to lower your energy bill. 

(image via Flickr)

Change the furnace filter.

Replacing filters on a regular basis saves energy by allowing your furnace to work more efficiently. As an added bonus, efficient operation extends its life expectancy. 

Find the sweet spot on your thermostat.

Raising or lowering the thermostat by one or two degrees can make the difference between a furnace that runs constantly and one that runs at reasonable intervals. It can also make the difference between a reasonable energy bill and one that breaks the bank.

Leave the thermostat alone.

Once you find the sweet spot, leave the thermostat alone. Keeping the room at a constant temperature saves energy, which will keep money in your pocket! 

 

Use rope caulk.

This product is great for filling in gaps around leaky windows. It’s dry, comes on a roll, and requires only scissors and water for an installation that only take a few minutes.

(image via Flickr)

Open and close your drapes.

Closing heavy, insulated drapes can trap cold air before it enters the room. On sunny days, though, opening the drapes can help warm the inside of your house. Choose wisely, and you’ll save a few bucks. 

Use vent deflectors.

The room will feel warmer when you direct the heat where it's needed. Attach deflectors to vents to change the direction of airflow. This can be done easily with screws or magnets. 

(image via Amazon)

Buy draft blockers.

Available in a variety of colors and designs to coordinate with your interior decor, these simple insulators keep cold air from entering your house through that gap under the door. 

(image via Amazon)

Take a shower instead of a bath.

Baths can be relaxing, but a shower will get the job done and lower your water bill. Simply do the math: a 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses about 25 gallons of water, while a typical bath uses 35-50 gallons of water. 

Turn down the temperature on your water heater.

For every 10 degrees that you reduce the temperature of your water heater, you save 3% to 5% percent on your energy bill. Consider lowering the temperature to 120 degrees—your water will still be a comfortable temperature, but you won’t be shelling out for unnecessary heat. 

Rinse clothes in cold water.

While cold water may not be appropriate for all wash cycles, it should be fine for rinsing. Also, make sure to adjust the water fill level when washing smaller loads. If you fill your whole washing machine for a tiny load of delicates, you’re literally washing money down the drain. 

Let your dishes air dry.

Admit it, you rarely unload the dishes as soon as they’re finished washing. So, turn off the heat drying feature on your dishwasher. If an air-dry option is not available, prop the door open. This way, the time you spend procrastinating will actually save you money.

Change your light bulbs.

Halogen, incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only will this save you money on energy bills, but you also won’t be shelling out to replace light bulbs every month. 

Add a layer of clothing.

Turn the heat down a few degrees and wear a fleece pullover, a puffer vest, or a hoodie around the house. Hang it by the door and put it on the minute you arrive at home. It’s comfy to be wrapped in warmness, so why wouldn’t you try it?

Combine your baking.

Bake a casserole for dinner, then bake cookies while the oven is hot so there's no need to preheat. Ambient heat from the oven adds warmth to your kitchen. Plus, now you have yummy cookies to warm your heart!