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Turn Down for What? Ways to Save on Utility Costs this Winter!

Turn Down for What? Ways to Save on Utility Costs this Winter!

When temperatures drop outside, the last thing you may want to do is turn down the heat inside your home. That is, at least until your utility bills start to rise.

In reality, utility bills can be some of a homeowner’s biggest monthly expenses, especially in winter. But, there are ways to cut down on utility costs in cold weather. In fact, many utility cost-cutting tips also will help to reduce a home’s energy consumption… a win-win for you and the planet!

Here are 10 tips for cutting utility costs during winter:

Five Free Ways to Save

Who doesn’t love not having to spend money to save money? Here are five ways to save on utility bills that won’t cost you a penny:

1. Maximize your use of the sun during winter. On sunny days, open all of your window coverings and allow the warm sunlight to enter and help heat your home. When the sun goes down, close window coverings to keep that warmth inside.

 

2. Dressing in layers is another way to save on high utility bills and this tip goes for you and your home. Layering yourself in warm sweaters and socks will help you to keep your body heat in. How can you layer your home? Throw some extra area rugs down on your floors to help trap heat!

 

3. It’s a classic seasonal tip, but reversing the direction of your ceiling fans in winter will help to drive heat – and utility bills – down. Ceiling fans should spin clockwise during winter and running them on low will help to circulate the heat throughout your home.

 

4. When the temperature drops outside, the mere thought of turning down your thermostat may give you the chills. But, experts agree, dropping your thermostat just a couple degrees during the day and even a few more at night will make an immediate impact on your heating bills. If there are rooms in your house that you either don’t use or that you seldom use, considering closing off the heating vents there for instant savings on your heating bill. See tip #2 for ways to deal with slightly cooler temps inside!

 

5. Another great way to save on your heating bill is to turn reduce the temperature of your hot water. While that may make you want to take a shorter shower – look at that as a free perk – shorter showers will reduce your water bills as well. You also can install a low-flow showerhead to cut down on your water bill year-round.

Five Upfront Investments with Long-Term Results

You may not have to spend a lot to get a lot when it comes to reducing your bills during winter. Here are five investments you can make to cut down on your winter utility bills:

1. Seal any leaks you find in your windows and doors. It may not cost much to buy a tube of caulking, but you may see (and feel) immediate savings when you don’t have drafty windows and doors.

 

2. You can keep your furnace or chimney running safely and efficiently with proper year-round maintenance. This includes changing your furnace filters regularly and having your chimney cleaned or your furnace serviced before winter weather starts.

 

3. If your home is not properly insulated, whatever heat you are trying to capture is surely escaping. Adding insulation to your walls or attic is a one-time fee that can help you save on your utility bills for years.

 

4. Since it is the holiday season, energy bills are sure to rise because of your holiday décor, right? That may not be the case, if you choose to festively light your home with LED holiday bulbs. Of course, you’ve heard about the benefits of LED lighting throughout your home, so the same rules apply for holiday lights!

 

5. Looking for that ENERGY STAR logo on your appliances is a sure way to save on utility costs all year around. Since there are many holiday sales going on now, you may be able to save on a new refrigerator, dishwasher or other appliance that will help you save long-term on your utility bills.

Combatting cold weather outside, while maintaining a warm environment inside and not being blindsided by high utility bills can be a very delicate thing to balance. But, with a few cost-cutting tips, you can stay warm for less on even winter’s coldest days.