Over the last couple of years, the search phrase “How to save energy at home” has been trending on Google. This should come as no surprise, as over 55 million Americans had trouble paying their utility bills in 2021.
Unfortunately, the United States Energy Information Administration predicts that the combination of slightly colder weather and rising fuel costs will push utility bills even higher in 2022. Similarly, Reuters estimates that U.S. consumers will pay approximately 28% more in heating-related utility costs this winter than in 2021.
Fortunately, there are a few proven tips to save on energy this winter and have a few bragging rights on going green. Here’s how to save on energy bills and save a few Benjamins in the process.
Adjust Your Thermostat While You’re Away
According to Energy.gov, you might be able to reduce your utility bill by 10% just by adjusting your thermostat while you’re at work.
Experts recommend lowering your thermostat by about seven to ten degrees for eight hours per day. You can save even more by raising your thermostat by the same amount during the warmer months when you’re lounging poolside in the backyard and working on a sun-kissed tan.
By making this adjustment, you’re giving your HVAC system more downtime. Since it won’t work as hard, you’ll save on energy and reduce your utility bill, so you can finally stop fearing opening your bill each month.
Schedule Routine Furnace Maintenance
Your furnace is one of the most reliable pieces of equipment in your home. As such, it can be easy to take it for granted and forget to schedule routine maintenance.
Poorly maintained units are more likely to fail during the height of winter when they’re subjected to the most stress. Even if your neglected system limps through another frigid winter, it’s probably not operating at peak efficiency.
During a maintenance inspection, an HVAC professional will carefully examine all key components of your heating system to identify potential concerns and make repair recommendations to keep your system functioning properly.
Routine maintenance not only decreases your chances of experiencing an inconvenient system failure but also ensures that your furnace is operating efficiently.
Regain Control of Your Budget
Shockingly high utility bills can throw your whole monthly budget out of whack (say bye-bye to drinks with friends during happy hour each week). Unfortunately, no matter how many weather reports you watch, it can be difficult to predict how much your monthly utility bill will be, as external temperatures and fuel costs are constantly in flux.
Fortunately, you can prepare for the unexpected and regain control of your energy budget by partnering with a trusted provider, opting for automatic payments, and setting aside a little extra each month to cover any fluctuations you might incur during those long, cold winter months.
For more tips on taking control of your home energy budget, check out our in-depth guide.
Seal Off Leaks
Many homes leak heat, especially as they start to age. Most of the hot air that escapes gets out through doors and windows, which wouldn’t be an issue if Elon Musk could invent a way for money to grow on trees. While the total amount of renegade heat may seem minuscule, it can significantly impact your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.
You can counteract this heat loss by sealing off leaks. Caulk smaller leaks, such as cracks in your home’s exterior or gaps near your window sills. Install new weather stripping to seal off leaks around doors.
To further insulate your home, install heavy curtains and keep them closed during the winter. Insulated curtains will reduce the heat lost through your home’s windows and add a decorative touch that Martha Steward would be proud to see.
Save Heat and Money This Winter
Conserving heat will save you money and allow you to be innovative in finding ways to stay warm. You’ll only have to use the heat when you need it without compromising your comfort level this season.