Winter is almost over! But between spreading holiday cheer and the cost of heating your home, a bit of extra money in the spring would be a welcome addition. One easy way to begin saving money in the New Year is by cutting energy costs. With a few simple steps you can lower your utility bills and increase your spending money. Here are six ways to lower your energy bill this season:
Tailor your heating and cooling to your habits. It’s easy to forget about the thermostat. We set it to our favorite temperature, leave our home, and come back to a perfectly cooled or heated house. But during those long stretches when you aren’t in your home, a great way to save on energy costs is to adjust the temperature. If for eight hours a day no one is home to enjoy the heat of the furnace, turn the dial to more closely reflect the temperature outside.
Use your garden as a weather guard. The strategic placement of trees, bushes, and vines can shield your home from wind, snow, and excessive heat. Beautify the outside of your home with some well-chosen plants, and your wallet will thank you later.
Keep the room temperature stable with curtains. At night or when the house is empty, keep the inside of your home protected from the elements by hanging some high-quality curtains. Windows are where most of the heat or cool air escapes from the home, so give them some help by providing a bit of extra insulation.
Use fans and ventilation, especially at night. If it’s hot enough outside to merit running the air conditioner, it may serve you well to use the nighttime to your advantage. Even in the warmest areas the temperature drops when the sun sets, so turn down the AC, crack a window, and run your ceiling fans on high. Just make sure to close the windows before the morning warms up too much.
Run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise during hot days. Turning your fan on counter-clockwise pushes the blades in a motion that draws warm air up toward the ceiling and lets cooler air settle in your living space. This strategy can be very effective for combating spring and summer heat, and can lower the strain on your air conditioner or cooler.
Change the time you run heat producing appliances, such as laundry machines or dishwashers. We often don’t think of how chores produce heat, but laundry and dishes can definitely bump the temperature in the room by a few degrees. Make these chores do twice their jobs by doing them at the coldest part of the evening.