It doesn't matter whether you are wanting to help reduce your carbon footprint or if you just want to save a few bucks this winter, the best way to do it is by decreasing your energy consumption. One of the best times of year to get this done is during the winter when you spend a lot of money and energy keeping your house warm.
Here are four things that you can do that will help to reduce your energy use and keep money in your bank account while still maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home:
Tip #1: Open Up the Curtains
There is no cheaper way to save money during the winter than to open the curtains and allow the sun to shine in – it's free heat! Just make sure that you are focusing on your south-facing windows, as this is where the sun will bring the most heat into the home. Don't forget to close the curtains as soon as the sun begins to go down to ensure that the heat stays inside the house.
Tip #2: Turn Back Your Thermostat
You can save a significant amount of money by simply turning back your thermostat several degrees when you go to sleep at night and/or when you are going to be away from the house for at least eight hours of the day.
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can automatically set the thermostat to do this on its own so that you don't have to remember to do it. For example, if you leave the house every morning around the same time, you can set it to turn back 7 to 10 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and to go back to normal temperature at 4:45 p.m., which will allow the house to warm back up before you arrive home.
The reason that you want to turn it back 7 to 10 degrees for the eight-hour period is because this is how you can save the most money — up to 10 percent annually, in fact. The Department of Energy reports that the best temperature for your thermostat to be set to during the winter is 68 degrees when you are awake and lower when you are sleeping or away from home.
Tip #3: Put Your Ceiling Fans to Use
You can make your home more energy efficient during the winter by improving the airflow and ventilation in each room. The best way to do this is by using your ceiling fans. However, you don't want to use them the same way you would during the summer (counter-clockwise).
Instead, the setting needs to be switched so that the fan blades will turn clockwise. This will allow the hot air near the ceiling to be pushed down toward the floor so that the room will stay warmer during the winter. Make sure that you set the fan on a low setting so that the fan blades aren't operating at too high of a speed for optimal efficiency.
Tip #4: Invest in LED Lighting (Including Holiday Lights)
LED lights are becoming increasingly popular — and for good reason. They are incredibly energy efficient, as they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and are known to last 25 times longer. In addition, incandescent lights tend to release approximately 90 percent of their energy, whereas LED lights hardly release any heat.
If you haven't replaced your home lighting with LED lights, now is the time to do it. You will be able to save money this winter in doing so. When decorating your Christmas tree and home for the holidays, it makes sense to purchase LED holiday lights. Aside from the fact that they are more energy efficient and longer lasting, they are also safer and more durable.
For more advice on how to save energy and money on your electrical bill this winter, to have a programmable thermostat installed or for any residential electrical needs, contact Richardson Ready Electric Incorporated.