We all have our favorite season. Some people love bundling up under a blanket, while others prefer the warm temperatures summer brings. But there’s one thing we can all agree on: High winter bills are never fun. Your electric cooperative can help you find ways to manage your home energy use and keep winter bills in check.
Here are five tips to help increase your home’s energy efficiency this winter:
1. Mind the thermostat. This is one of the easiest ways to manage your home energy use. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees—or lower—when you’re home, and when you’re sleeping or away for an extended period of time, set it between 58 and 62 degrees.
2. Button up your home. The Department of Energy estimates that air leaks account for 24%–40% of the energy used for heating and cooling a home. Caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors is another simple, cost-effective way to increase comfort and save energy.
3. Use window coverings wisely. Open blinds, drapes or other window coverings during the day to allow natural sunlight in to warm your home. Close them at night to keep the cold, drafty air out.
4. Consider your approach to appliance use. When combined, appliances and electronics account for a significant chunk of our home energy use, so assess how efficiently you’re using them. For example, if you’re running the dishwasher or clothes washer, only wash full loads. Look for electronic devices that consume energy even when they’re not in use, like phone chargers or game consoles, and unplug them to save energy.
5. Think outside the box. If you’re still feeling chilly at home, add layers of clothing, wear thick socks and bundle up under blankets. You can even add layers to your home! If you have hard-surface flooring, consider purchasing an area rug.
Winter months can bring some of the highest energy bills of the year. By being proactive about saving energy, you can increase the comfort of your home and reduce monthly bills.