Whether you want to reduce your impact on the planet or just want to save some money, energy usage can be a major concern, especially in the winter. There are many steps you can take to help reduce your overall energy costs throughout the winter. Try one or more of these winter energy savings tips and see how much you can cut down on your energy usage, and save on energy costs this winter.
1. Take advantage of the sun- Open the curtains and blinds on windows facing west and east during the day to allow as much sunshine into your home as possible. This can naturally raise the inside temperature by one or two degrees, which will lead to savings on your heating bill. Just be sure to close the curtains at night to help insulate your windows and keep the heat inside.
2. Turn on ceiling fans- Run your ceiling fan clockwise in the winter. This will trap heat inside your rooms and keep them warmer during cooler months. Turn the ceiling fan on low to gently push hot air back down.
3. Reduce heat loss from the fireplace- Keeping your fireplace damper open during the winter is like leaving a window wide open; it allows warm air to escape right up the chimney. So be sure to close your fireplace damper unless a fire is burning.
4. Lower your water heating costs- After heating and cooling systems, water heaters are the next highest source of energy usage in the home. It takes alot of energy to heat water, and most people have the thermostat on their water heater set way too high. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees F) . Unless you like skin scalding water temperatures, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
5. Turn down your thermostat-  You could save up to 10% on your heating bill just by programming your thermostat to be at a lower temperature at night and after you leave for work.
6. Increase humidity- This is only free if you already have a humidifier. The air in your home can be very dry, especially in the winter when the heat is running more frequently. Moist air feels warmer than dry air and it also holds heat better. By using a humidifier, you can make your home feel warmer and more comfortable. House plants can also help to increase the humidity in your home. Just don’t over do it- too much humidity can cause condensation and mold.