As the months start to get colder, traveling and doing things outdoors also begin to get harder. Winter doesn’t just impact our health and activities, but also our pockets. The freezing temperature forces many individuals to increase their utility usage to stay warm and cozy inside their homes.
Many use inefficient sources of heat like space heaters and turn electric water heaters constantly. And since people are more likely to stay at home, they also tend to spend most of their time using their computers or watching TV with the heaters on. To avoid inefficient energy use and high utility bills, here are some suggestions you can consider.
Prepare your fireplace
Wood-burning fireplaces are a beautiful addition to any home. But did you know that you can be using more energy than you need if they’re not correctly set up?
If you love sitting by the fireplace for hours while listening to calming songs, writing in your journal, or reading your favorite book, check for drafts before anything else. These drafts can cause your furnace to utilize more energy as the warm air gets pulled up the chimney. If you are looking to use the fireplace for the entire winter, avoid using wet wood. This can lead to heat loss or excess smoke.
Inspect your furnace
Another heating equipment to check is your furnace. Compared to a traditional fireplace, a furnace is the better choice. It is way more efficient than fireplaces, especially if you’re planning to heat multiple rooms. But it can only do its job efficiently if it’s well-maintained.
Call on a local furnace company for proper inspection. They can check if your furnace is efficient to use or if the air filters need to be replaced. These experts can also inspect your thermostat, igniter switch, and heat exchanger. Schedule a furnace checkup before the days and nights get colder.
As for you, you can readily inspect and clean the vents without professional help. Cleaning the vents can make it easier for your furnace to heat the house.
Be conscious with device use
Homes these days are filled with devices and technology that use significant amounts of energy every single day. And as the colder months force people to stay indoors, many continuously use their devices for more hours. It can be due to school, work, socializing, and entertainment.
Reduce your energy consumption by setting your devices in energy saving, battery saver, or low power mode. This feature is widely available on many laptops and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
For screens like televisions, check if they have energy-saving features such as automatic sleep and brightness control. If you’re using a power strip, look for an advanced model that can prevent electricity waste from idle devices. Be aware of energy vampires.
Dress for the cold months
This should be a no-brainer during colder months. Wearing more layers of clothes even while you’re indoors is a good savings strategy. In this way, you won’t have to always have your heating system running. No need to constantly fiddle with your thermostat to get the proper temperature to warm your home and your body.
Now, we’re not saying you should dress up like a skier. Among the ideal clothing items to warm your body are sweaters, socks, and thermal shirts. Wear a quality base layer, layer it with a long sleeve, and add a warm jacket. You can also dress your sofa, bed, and other parts of the house with warm blankets, insulated curtains, and other soft furnishings.
Wash clothes at low temperature
Washing clothes at a lower temperature is a good trick to reduce your energy consumption. Did you know that water heating accounts for 90% of your total electricity consumption when using a washing machine? With that in mind, you can save a lot if you skip warm water when washing your clothes.
Unless, of course, the clothes have oil residues or serious stains. In such cases, washing at 40 degrees can give you more stain-removal power. You need to get the proper detergents, and you’ll be fine using cold water. So, if you want to save on energy costs, start washing at a lower temperature.
While the greater demand for energy or electricity tends to be normal in winter months, you need to consider if you can afford to pay for higher utility costs. If this will make you go over your monthly household budget, these tips can be helpful. Not only do you get to lessen the amount you pay, but you also help reduce the use of fossil fuels and conserve them for many more years.