Winter is right around the corner, and with it come some major electric bills. Unfortunately, hefty winter bills don’t come with automatic salary increases, so wintertime often leaves people feeling flustered over keeping up with their monthly financial obligations while at the same time budgeting for holiday gifts. If your winter electric bill makes you want to run away and hibernate, then you will be pleased to learn that there some practical steps you can take to minimize the damage to your bank account. As a matter of fact, you may be able to cut your heating bill by up to thirty percent. Here are five tips for cutting your winter heating costs:
Seal off air leaks. It is likely that you are leaking your warm air to the cold outside through cracks around things like dryer vents and garden water faucets. No matter how small the air leak is, it can do a real number on your utility bill if you don’t seal it off. Use a sealing putty to block airflow from the outside in, as well as the insides out.
Inspect your windows. It’s very easy to ascertain whether or not cold air is entering your home through your windows. All you have to do is walk be the window and feel the temperature. If the air around your windows is cold in relation to the rest of your home, then you have a leaky window. Again, this problem can be easily solved with inexpensive sealing putty. Additionally, you can apply window film, which acts as insulation, to your windows.
Insulate. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but this is one circumstance many people fail to address because they think their home is already properly insulated. The truth is that less than twenty percent of all homes built before 1980 have enough insulation; therefore, you should go through the insulated areas of your home and add insulation wherever necessary.
Prepare your water heater for winter. Purchase an insulation jacket for your water heater to keep it running efficiently, so that it doesn’t have to work too hard to provide you with hot water. Also, turn the temperature of you water heater down. The “warm” setting should be warm enough for winter showers, and just that small change can make a big difference on your heating bill.
Energy audit. This is a great way to find out exactly what you need to do to conserve energy this winter. Simply contact your power company and ask for a free energy audit. Your power company will then send a representative to your home, and the representative will assess your home’s power usage and offer guidance on how to address any troublesome issues.
Saving money on utilities doesn’t mean freezing to death. It means becoming more efficient and doing what you can to save while taking creative and cost-saving measures in advance!
About the Author: Kai Zima loves to work on DIY projects to repair and remodel her home and to save money. She recently used stair marking tape to create cool patterns on the stairs going to her son’s bedroom and she plans on tackling winter maintenance projects, like the water heater, in October!