I love Winter. Cozy socks, warm comfy pajamas, twinkling Christmas lights, freshly fallen snow, drafty windows….
Yeah, no. Don’t love that. I also don’t love higher utility costs during winter. I mean, yeah sure, we crank up the air conditioner in the summer, but our little rental has gas heat. And somehow, it just gets so much more expensive in the winter to keep our home at a comfortable 68 degrees.
Do you feel the same way?
I’ve learned over the years some tips and tricks to save money on utilities in winter. The utility bills are still there, but I have been able to get them lowered to a more manageable rate.
Looking to save money on your utilities this winter?
Here’s my list:
- Lower The Thermostat – You’ve got that right! One way to lower your utility bills in winter is to also lower your thermostat. I like to keep ours on 60 when we’re out during the day and then 65-68 when we’re home in the evening. At night when we’re asleep, I put it back on 60 and we cuddle! Ha!
- Reinstall Weather Stripping – This is that stuff that lines door and window frames. It’s super easy to do, almost like applying tape. But it can make a huge difference by keeping out drafts.
- Replace Light Bulbs – Switch Christmas lights to LEDs and regular bulbs to energy efficient varieties and they’ll not only last longer but they’ll use less electricity.
- Use The Oven – My husband loves this because it means more roasts, breads, casseroles and cookies. Just use your oven more often, it gives off heat. Don’t use it as your heater though 😉
- Let In The Sun – Open the curtains and blinds during the day time and allow the sun to warm up inside.
- Use A Space Heater – By using a space heater only in the area you need it and turning the thermostat down even lower (say 55 degrees) you can cut costs even more.
- Layer Up – In the winter, I can often be found in a thermal shirt, sweat pants and thick socks. It’s comfy and it keeps me warm. Which makes it okay for the thermostat to be lower. Without it, I’d want it set at 75 to be comfortable. And no, just no. Too expensive. I am cheap, ya know!
- Use The Fireplace Or Wood Stove – Someday I hope to be able to use this tip myself. But honestly, if you have a working fireplace and you aren’t using it in winter… um?? How?? I’d be using that puppy all the time!
- Replace Filters – Your furnace filter should be replaced at the beginning of the season as well as periodically through the season. Especially if you have pets.
- Reverse The Ceiling Fans – It took me forever to learn this one. But you want your fans turning clockwise in summer and counter clockwise in winter. This will push warm air down in winter (heat rises). The electricity the fan uses is almost negligent to the benefits of proper circulation.
- Insulate Pipes – There are some easy kits you can use to insulate your water pipes. This will keep warm water warm which will lower water consumption and gas or electric use of heating that water.
- Cover Drafty Windows – If you are in an older house like me, you may notice drafts for no reason and no way to seal them. Or the windows just aren’t energy efficient. You can cover them in plastic to keep out the drafts. I’ve even seen kits at the dollar store for $1 per window.
- Install Or Craft Draft Stoppers – Put these at the base of exterior doors to keep drafts at bay. I even put one on our basement door.
- Close Vents You Aren’t Using – We have a second bedroom that we use for storage. So, the vent and door stay closed. No need to heat a room you aren’t using.
- Limit Use – You can use surge protectors to make it easy to switch off appliances and electronics when you aren’t using them. We realized our wifi router and TV set up was using a lot of energy during the day. When we began shutting it off at night and while we were both out, it knocked the bill down by $15 per month!
BarbJanuary 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm
Great tips! I can vouch for the effectiveness of wood stoves–we used them when I was a kid. Here’s another tip: if you have sliding glass doors, hang some curtains/drapes in front of them to stop drafts and cold penetrating through the glass. Leave them open during the day, then close them at night. Same thing with your windows. It’s added 2 degrees Fahrenheit to our apartment without raising the thermostat one bit!
TamiekaJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:33 am
Wow! The Router-never even thought off that. Thanks.
sueJanuary 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm
Some usual suspects here but also some tips that I wouldn’t have thought of like replacing filters and closing vents. Thanks for sharing ways to save on utilities with us at #overthemoon. Have a great week!
ChristineJanuary 19, 2016 at 11:29 am
These are awesome tips! Some things everybody should be doing in winter. Thanks for sharing on Meetup Monday!