Stay Cozy, Save Energy: Essential Winter Energy Saving Tips
As winter approaches, the desire for a warm and comfortable home often clashes with the fear of skyrocketing energy bills. However, winter doesn’t have to come at the cost of excessive energy consumption and high expenses, even in cold states like Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho, and others. Energy prices rise every year, with a 13% rise between 2021 and 2022, but homeowners are finding new ways to save money. It’s always a good idea to recognize how to reduce excess costs in your own home.
Many homeowners are well-equipped with energy saving techniques for the summertime. These methods can also be used in the wintertime. In this guide, we’ll explore a range of practical and effective winter energy-saving tips to help keep your home warm and comfortable, regardless of the outside temperature. While some of these saving techniques and practices will need to be completed daily, others are simple one-and-done. Here are a few of our top tips to save money in the winter:
Evaluate Your Current Energy Usage
Before you can reduce your monthly utility bill, you need to know your current energy consumption.
Energy Consumption: the total amount of energy used within a given system or by an entity over a specific period, typically measured in units such as joules or kilowatt-hours.
Knowing our usage and needs helps identify the best decisions for your home and finances.
Look at a recent utility bill and evaluate the largest expenses. This is a great place to start, and to find out more specific usage of your household appliances; apply a simple equation to estimate the energy consumed.
Once potential improvements are identified, you can make changes and improve the savings.
Daily Saving Boosts
Saving money and energy in the winter is made more lucrative through everyday best practices.
These can be as simple as:
- Adjust the Thermostat – to a comfortable, energy-efficient temperature. Lower it when you’re sleeping or away and raise it when you’re at home. The ideal range for energy efficiency is 68-70 degrees in the winter.
- Wear Layers Indoors – trap body heat. This will allow you to stay warm without relying completely on internal heating systems.
- Close Doors and Curtains – to prevent heat loss. Create a barrier against cold drafts and keep warmth confined to specific areas.
- Utilize Sunlight – Keep curtains and/or blinds open during the warmest part of the day which can provide natural heat without costing extra the way raising the thermostat might. However, be sure to close those blinds and/or curtains after the sun goes down to keep cool air outside. This can also minimize the need to turn on lights for a few extra hours.
- Use Rugs and Carpets – covering cold floors with rugs or carpets provide insulation, keeping floors warm and reducing the need for more heating
- Humidify Indoor Air – add moisture to the air. Winter air tends to be dry, and increasing the humidity can make your home feel warmer.
- Cuddle Up with Blankets – keep blankets within reach. Wrapping up in a blanket, when chilled, can make a difference in perceived comfort.
- Plan to Cook Efficiently – cook meals requiring longer oven or stovetop times during colder parts of the day to take advantage of the generated heat.
Home Improvements and Changes
Daily practices are a great way to enhance savings opportunities, but here are a few larger, more permanent changes inviting long term savings.
Covering drafty windows with curtains or blinds or changing a furnace filter. Checking chimneys for proper air circulation can potentially create a need for a larger project.
Windows can have faulty seals, as can doors. Finding and sealing leaks can greatly improve temperature maintenance in every room of the house. There are also new, more insulating windows available if you are looking to make a larger investment.
Many attics are poorly insulated, and since heat rises, it can easily let out the home’s heat. Adding more insulation will prevent heat loss. Fireplaces are another spot that can benefit from insulation, especially when it is in use, so the heat will not escape and will instead radiate throughout the home.
Check your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system(s) and functions and have it regularly maintained.
Here are the home improvements, which only need to be completed once, or once per season. These can have a large impact. Winter evenings often mean longer hours of indoor lighting.
Switching any incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs is a great way to save energy and money, as incandescent bulbs are much less efficient than LED bulbs. LED light bulbs consume less energy but also emit less heat in the process, reducing the burden on your heating system. While changing your lightbulbs, also change the direction of the ceiling fan(s). In the winter, fans should spin clockwise in rotation which will push warm air back down to the room.
Seasonally, it may be a plausible option to lower the temperature of any water heaters thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy without sacrificing comfort. Insulate the hot water pipes to minimize heat loss during distribution. You can also consider installing a low-flow showerhead, which will reduce water consumption while maintaining high water pressure.
Our favorite path to energy savings is to switch from utility grid reliance to producing energy right from the roof through PV solar panels. Solar energy produces energy at efficient rates, but it can also save homeowners thousands of dollars on their utility bills.
Blue Raven Solar: An Energy Provider to Meet Your Needs
By implementing these winter energy-saving tips, you can create an inviting home without facing high energy bills. From making small, simple changes to your daily routine to optimizing your heating system – all of these changes make a big difference in both comfort and your wallet. Master the art of energy-efficient living.
Blue Raven Solar offers homeowners the best solar experience, helping them understand their energy needs, usage, and potential improvements. We also guide you throughout the solar installation process from start to finish, and create unique, customized array designs for every homeowner. We are located in 18 states across the country and have over 10,000 5-star reviews.
Learn how going solar this winter can benefit you!