If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then winter is slowly taking hold for you as it is for us here in Southwestern BC. Winter brings with it cozy sweaters, hot cocoa, and…cold! As temperatures drop, energy bills tend to rise, leaving everyone searching for ways to stay warm while staying on a budget.
With some simple changes and a bit of planning, it’s possible to keep warm while keeping our wallets happy. And an important bonus to reducing energy use is a reduction in our carbon footprint as well! In this blog post, I’m exploring ten practical ways to reduce energy use and save money on heating this winter.
There are many ways to reduce heating bills, some of them requiring more investment of time and money than others. If you’re considering any of the more substantial changes, be sure to check for government programs (like this one in Canada) in your area as there are often rebates and credits available for making energy-reducing improvements to your home!
10 ways to reduce energy use on heating
- Dress in Layers: One of the easiest ways to stay warm indoors is by wearing layers of clothing. This will help you feel cozy without having to crank up the heat. My favourite winter accessories are a warm robe and soft slippers!
- Make Use of Sunlight: During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let the sunlight in. Sunlight can naturally heat your home, reducing the need for artificial heating. But remember to close them when the sun sets to retain the warmth.
- Service Your Heating System: Regular maintenance of your heating system is crucial for efficiency. Clean or replace filters, and consider having a professional service your furnace or heat pump to ensure it’s operating optimally.
- Monitor Your Usage: Stay aware of your energy consumption by using energy monitoring tools or apps. In my area, our energy provider has great tracking tools and even offers a free energy saving kit! These tools can help you identify patterns and pinpoint where you can further reduce energy waste.
- Cook and bake strategically: Cooking and baking generate quite a bit of heat, so I often plan a baking session for cool evenings!
- Seal the Leaks: Start by inspecting your home for drafts and air leaks. Use weatherstripping, caulk, and draft stoppers to seal gaps around windows, doors, and any other openings. A well-sealed home will help retain heat and keep cold air out.
- Optimize Your Thermostat: A programmable or smart thermostat allows you to schedule heating to match your daily routine. Lower the temperature when you’re not at home or while you’re sleeping, and then raise it when you’re awake and active. This can save you a substantial amount over the winter.
- Use Space Heaters Wisely: If you have trouble spots that are consistently colder than the rest of your home, consider using a space heater. However, use them with caution, and only heat the areas you’re using at the time. Turn them off when you leave the room.
- Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances: If it’s time to replace your appliances, opt for energy-efficient models. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the appliance meets high efficiency standards, helping you save on energy costs.
- Invest in Insulation: Proper insulation in your attic, walls, and floors is key to retaining heat. If your home lacks sufficient insulation, consider adding more. This upfront cost can lead to significant long-term savings on your heating bills.
Saving money on heating during the winter doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort. By taking a few practical steps to improve your home’s insulation, optimize your heating system, and adopt energy-efficient habits, you can enjoy a warm and cozy winter on a budget while reducing your carbon footprint.
What do you do to save on energy costs in colder seasons?
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