Aside from rent or mortgage payments and food, utilities typically account for the largest expense in any given household. The most expensive component of this, especially in areas with extreme temperatures, generally comes from heating or cooling your home or apartment. Believe it or not, you can actually save energy in winter without the sacrifice of your personal comfort. Additionally, the many ways you can improve your home’s overall energy efficiency — which represents less wasted energy — can also help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
Before you start lowering your thermostat or wearing extra layers indoors to save energy in winter, have a professional perform an energy audit. At Millennium Home Design, we can help identify all the ways that your home uses and loses energy. You might find yourself surprised at some of the energy sinks in your home. Once identified, you can take the necessary steps to address the issues, and save money on future bills. To learn more about this service, or to schedule your own energy audit in Fort Wayne, IN, give our team a call today at (260) 440-2057.
How to Save Energy in Winter Time
A home can lose energy in a multitude of different ways. While they may seem minor, each and every avenue represents lost money. To save energy in winter, you can pursue a host of strategies. These differ in regards to the amount of effort or expense they require, so you can choose the ones you feel most comfortable with. Ideally, however, both for the sake of the planet and your wallet, you can institute as many of these strategies as possible.
Ways to Save Energy in Winter
Take Advantage of Sunshine and Ceiling Fans: The sun and your home’s ceiling fans both present valuable avenues to energy savings. During the day, make sure to open your curtains. This will allow the sun’s warmth to assist in heating your home, and reduce the workload on your furnace. As for your ceiling fans, they have different rotation settings for a reason. Fans that run counter-clockwise push hot air upwards, which helps keep things cool in the summer. If you set them to run clockwise, hot air is pushed down and contained in the room.
Energy Saving Tips Winter Heating: If you’ve ever wondered what should you set your thermostat at in the winter, the ideal temperature to save money and maintain relative comfort is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If this seems chilly, you can always wear a comfortable sweater or flannel pajamas while relaxing at home. Furthermore, you can reduce your overall energy bill by 10 percent or more if you lower your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees at night. Again, the cost of a warm comforter and flannel blanket will easily be offset by the monthly savings you accrue. You can additionally lower this setting while engaged with errands or gone to work. Also, make sure that you heat strategically. If there exists a room or two that you tend to not use, close the vents. This will make the overall size of your heated space smaller, and reduce the workload on your furnace.
Winterize Old Windows to Save Money: An important strategy to save money throughout the winter, the winterizing of old, drafty windows should represent a top priority. Every slight breeze that enters your home should serve to remind you of the money you lose on wasted energy. To seal drafty windows, all you have to do is invest in some caulk or weatherstripping. To do this, first go outside and strip any old caulk of paint from the edges of the windows. Next, scrub the window’s perimeter to remove any dirt or debris. You can then apply a healthy amount of caulk around the window to seal the space between the frame and your home’s siding. For best results, use an exterior grade caulk, preferably a 100 percent silicone variety. You can alternately opt to have better windows installed. At Millennium Home Design, we specialize in the installation and service of insulated windows.
Invest in Better Insulation: Though it can seem expensive, an investment in better insulation can save you an enormous amount of money over the time. Most homes suffer from a lack of proper insulation. Homeowners also tend to not realize that insulation will degrade over time and need replacement. Attics that lack proper insulation create a particularly egregious loss of energy. For superior results, choose either blown-in or spray foam insulation. Both of these materials will seal every nook and cranny, even the small areas that typical rolled fiberglass insulation will miss.
Winter Savings FAQ
How Can I Lower My Electric Bill in the Winter?
There are many ways to lower your electric bill in the winter. Assuming that you have an electric heater, you can adjust your thermostat downwards, especially while asleep or away from home. You can also stop heating rooms that you don’t use often. Weatherstripping or caulking windows represents another strategy. You can also invest in more insulation, open your curtains for heat from the sun, and run your ceiling fans clockwise to preserve warm air.
How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient in the Winter?
More insulation, especially in the attic, represents an excellent strategy to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You can also invest in new, energy efficient windows, or at least seal the drafts around your current windows. If you have the budget, you can purchase newer, more energy efficient appliances. A new, energy efficient natural gas furnace can save as much as 30 percent off a heating bill. Older water heaters can also represent a sieve for energy, so consider the benefits of water heater restorations service.
What Temperature Do You Keep Your House at in the Winter?
For ideal energy savings, set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If that seems too cold, simply wear a comfortable sweater or flannel shirt while at home. After a little time, you won’t even notice the difference.
Does Turning Heat Down at Night Save Money?
Absolutely! If you turn your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees at night, or while you’re away from home, you can save up to 10 percent off your energy bill. If that seems too cold, consider the purchase of a cozy flannel blanket or comforter.