How to Cut Utility Expenses During the Winter Months

Here we are at the New Year and the warm weather is finally on its way out and the cold air is at our midst. As you are awaiting the freezing rain and this year’s first winter snow to fall you may be concerned with how heating your home will reflect on your energy bill. Proper home weatherization can conserve energy and lead to tremendous savings on your winter utilities. There are several basic steps you can take to reduce your home’s energy consumption and maintain manageable costs during the cooler season.  If you follow these simple tips you are guaranteed to save significantly.

The most commonly known trick to saving money on your winter utility bill is to lower your thermostat. If your heating system runs all day you can expect to see that expense reflected on your energy costs. If you keep your thermostat below 68 degrees while you are sleeping or while you are at work, you will be paying less money to your energy company each month. It may be a valuable investment in installing a programmable thermostat to help control the temperature for you. This way the temperature can begin getting warmer before you get home and you are not forced to freeze while waiting for the warm air to circulate.

Insulate your home by sealing all the drafts. Seal cracks in exterior doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping to prevent losing heat and the cold air from seeping in. It is also beneficial to use draft guards under the internal doors leading to the basement to block cold airflow from poorly insulated areas of the house. Insulating the entry way into the attic is important to prevent the warm air from being drawn towards the roof, as we know heat rises

Isolate the warm air in the rooms that are being used. Closing vents to rooms that are rarely occupied can help increase the effectiveness of your heating system. Trying to heat rooms that are only used when guests are present is a waste of energy and money. Closing the doors and vents to those rooms can reduce your energy footprint by a couple hundred square feet. You may also think about using a space heater. The amount of electricity needed to run an individual space heater is minimal compared to the amount of energy consumed to heat an entire home. Using space heaters in the most occupied rooms will provide individualized comfort only when necessary.

Finally some of the easiest steps for individuals to follow that can make the most difference are to bundle up and keep warm. When you’re not under the covers and asleep, wear warm clothes. It does not make sense to wear shorts, short sleeves or a tank top in the winter, so dress warm. Use blankets while you are sitting in the living room reading, watching TV or spending time with your family and friends. You can also build a fire, creating natural heat to warm the house and provide comfort for everyone.

These tips are all very inexpensive and require little time to implement. Following each step will help you save money during the cold months that most home owners dread. Although major improvements to your home will save you thousands of dollars in long run, these improvements will also cost you thousands of dollars to complete. This year it is time to make your home more energy efficient yourself and reduce energy costs without those costly professional enhancements.