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Ways to Lower your Electric Bill During Winter

Updated on June 14, 2017
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael Kismet is a freelance writer and has a passion for finances and true financial freedom.

ways to reduce power bill
ways to reduce power bill | Source

What's worst, the heat of summer, or the chill of winter?

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Ways to Save Money on Heating Cost

During the months of winter, it is more than likely your energy bill will increase. Yet, there are many easy and practical ways to reduce your power usage, and ultimately increase your homes energy efficiency.

Winter seemingly is more harsh on our utility bills, but it doesn't have to be as bad as we allow it. While it is a good rule of thumb to always be striving for a more energy efficient home, it pays not to become complacent. Here are six simple ways to save an appreciable amount of money on heating costs, during winter.

1. How to Program Thermostat to Save Money

First things first, if you currently are not utilizing a digital thermostat, you in short have less control over your heating's efficiency. The money invested in a digital unit will save you in the long run. Digital versions are more accurate, and the timer will assist you in mitigating how your power is being spent. Some digital version thermostats can be confusing, but a few minutes fiddling with one is all it takes to become a natural.

Get into the practice of turning up the heat just enough to be comfortable, I personally never set my thermostat higher than 74 degrees. Although, all central heating isn't created equally and may perform differently, use your best judgement. Also, if you're home is sealed well of all air drafts, there is no reason to leave the heat on constantly. Program for it to turn on in intervals and be off in equal intervals, 50% in heating costs.

Save Energy in Winter

2. Stop Window Drafts and Door Drafts to Save Energy

Any gaps in your window, beneath doors, and door frames should be insulated. I personally use garage door molding for all of my door gap insulation. However, practically anything at arms reach in your home would do just fine. An old, rolled up towel seems to be a staple for impromptu insulation. But nothing will work better than the twin draft guards that were made to be a perfect fit for standard sized doors.

Take a few minutes and do a walk-around of your home checking for any leaks. Replace any window seal molding that has been cracked or damaged, or band-aid the problem with thermal tape, at the very least. Also, close doors and incoming heating vents to rooms that will be vacant. Also, a commercial twin draft guard can also be used to keep cigarette smoke in or out of a particular room.

ways to lower power bill
ways to lower power bill | Source

3. Save Money with Proper Winter Clothing

In conjunction with your heater, the warmer your clothes are, the less heat you'll have to use, including reduction in how high you'll have to set your thermostat. This should be a no-brainier. You might not have the most flattering or fashionable winter clothing, but this is about saving money, not fashion.

Simply wearing layers of clothing while keeping the thermostat down will have an immediate effect on your heating costs. An ego is never a useful tool for the goal of saving money. Hit an Old Navy, you can easily pick up fleece items for an amazing bargain. Speaking of fleece, fleece blankets are wonderful for preserving body heat. Something as simple as warmer clothing and bedding will allow you more comfort in turning your heater down, or even off entirely.

4. Reducing Heating Costs in the Home as a Family

Everyone in the household should be aware of what the current energy policy is in the home. Your energy budget will work better if everyone is on the same page. Everyone is susceptible to being an energy hog, but generally not as often as teenagers. Playing video games, surfing online, charging their smart phones, and watching copious amounts of television.

And most importantly, because they have no real appreciation for the one paying the power bill. Make sure there are clear cut rules for energy usage, especially using the bulk of energy usage after 10 p.m. Depending where you live, power cost can be as much as 400% cheaper after 8-10pm. These are significant savings, work this piece of knowledge into your power usage policy.

how to reduce electricity costs
how to reduce electricity costs | Source

5. Cooking with your Oven During Winter

Winter months should be accompanied with meals and baked treats from the oven. This will help substantially warm a good portion of the house. After the oven is initially used for cooking and turned off, leave it open. The residual heat will last quite a good while and will go a decent way to reduce your reliance on your heater.

In the long run, saving you money. This will be a good excuse for more time with your family, cooking and baking together, staying warm in the kitchen/living room area, all the while saving much needed money on your monthly electricity bill.

6. Winter Upkeep of Furnace and Water Heater

Take a quick look at your furnace and water heater. Is it working at it's most optimal efficiency and at the proper settings. Make sure to clean or swap out entirely your filter that is in your furnace. With a less than pristine filter, you'll be hemorrhaging money, through an inefficient furnace. Make sure that your water heater is working properly and not turned up too high.

It might take some experimenting between comfort and savings, but it's much overlooked. Anyway to maximize your energy is a worthwhile goal we should embrace and pass on to our children. If you have any further tips or ideas to share, I would be deeply humbled for your input. Thanks in advance, have a warm winter!

ways to lower your electric bill
ways to lower your electric bill | Source

Energy Saving Space Heaters

If you don't have or choose not to use central heating, then finding the right portable space heaters make great alternatives. Before making any purchases, one should definitely do a bit of research on suitable space heating units. Many factors should be taken in consideration, such as overall heating capability, energy efficiency, durability, and safety features. Feel free to share this article with friends or your social network!

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      we don't have winter here only rainy days. I feel that using slow cooker would be ideal for keeping warm food for winter

    • Michael Kismet profile image
      Author

      Michael Kismet 2 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for your input Marie!

      Unplugging appliances and adapters that run on stand-by power, how could I have forgotten about that?! You're definitely right about going solar, especially sun drenched states. I live in California and have seen exponential increase in solar panels being used..a good step forward. Thank you again for your tips!

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Go solar!

      Good tips for non-solar use.

      A few other tidbits: cayenne as a culinary spice increases metabolism; exercise increases metabolism; and strong coffee (I don't drink it) does as well. A good metabolism helps the body to generate its own heat.

      The thermostat: If possible, set it no higher than 68-degrees Fahrenheit.

      Microwaves (I don't condone them) do reduce use of electrical power for heating small amounts of food.

      Turning off adapter units and multi-socketed extension units at night also helps.

      Very useful article and voted as such. ***

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