Do you heat your home with electricity? If so, winter's chilly weather may drive up your electric bill. That's because cold outside temperatures will cause your heating system to work harder and use more energy to heat your home, even if you keep your thermostat at the same setting year-round. Below, we've provided some simple tips that can help you use less energy and save money through the winter months.
- Lower your thermostat and get cozy in a sweater or under a blanket instead. Each degree you lower your thermostat can save you up to 2% on your heating costs. Rather than lowering the thermostat all at once, try gradually lowering the setting by one or two degrees every few days in order to gently acclimate yourself to the lower temperature.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly. This is important for several reasons. Dirty, clogged filters make your furnace less efficient, causing it to use more energy to distribute heat resulting in higher heating costs. Dirty filters also have the potential to shorten the life of your heating system.
- If you have zonal heat, such as baseboard or ceiling heat, limit the number of rooms you heat to only those that are actively used. Heating unused rooms wastes energy and costs you money. Close the doors to rooms that are unheated and unused.
- Don't block your heating registers. Keep all furniture, rugs, window coverings, and other objects clear of them. Blocking the heating registers will prevent warm air from circulating and heating the space.
- Avoid using space heaters. They may look innocent, but a single 1,500-watt space heater used all month long will add up to $86 to your electric bill. This includes all types of space heaters, even oil radiant heaters, because they all use electric resistance heat. Also, beware of space heaters that claim to be energy-saving. They are often marketed as being more efficient than other space heaters but that is untrue. All space heaters have the same efficiency level, which isn't actually efficient at all.
Get more energy-saving and money-saving tips by visiting our Money Saving Tips page.