Power Through Winter With These Energy Saving Tips
It is a known fact that the colder winter months can lead to higher energy bills. We consume a lot of energy trying to heat our homes. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Consumption of electricity rises in the winter because the days are shorter (i.e., more lighting usage) and some homes heat with electricity, either for their primary heating equipment, such as electric furnaces or heat pumps, or with secondary heating equipment, such as space heaters or electric blankets.” Even with increased energy consumption, you can stay warm and power through this winter with these energy saving tips:
Leave Your Oven Door Open
Heating your whole house with your kitchen oven is extremely impractical, but your oven can occasionally help to heat your home. After using your oven to cook dinner, leave the door open. The heat from the oven will help to warm your kitchen without wasting any more energy. It’s a simple way to stay warm while enjoying your evening meal.
Use LED Holiday Lighting
Winter is the perfect time to hang some holiday decorations to celebrate a fun and exciting time. However, holiday lighting can be a huge source of energy consumption. In fact, an average American home can use 42,690 watts (43 kW) of electricity per hour in order to power their home Christmas lights, or 301 kWh per day, with the lights only being on seven hours a night. This comes to 13,545 kW or 13.5 MW per home over the holiday season. It’s more than the average U.S. home tends to use in electricity over the rest of the year!
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED light bulbs last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use up to 75 percent less energy. LED lights will ensure your electric bills aren’t through the roof while still enjoying the holiday season. In addition to being more energy efficient, LED light bulbs are also safer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. They don’t get as hot, so they are safer to use on wreaths, trees, garlands, and your home!
Lower Your Water Heating Temperature
Adjusting your water heater temperature can help save you big on energy this winter. Oftentimes, our water heater temperature is set too high, leading to scalding water and energy loss. By turning down your water heater to a warm setting (rather than hot), you can save energy and avoid burning your skin while still staying warm when using your water.
Heated by the Sun
Even during the winter months, the sun is so powerful that it can warm up your house. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to ensure the sun shines into each room. Throughout the day, the heat of the sun will warm up your house. Just make sure you close your blinds at night to avoid window drafts from the outside cold.
You can also invest in some quilted or insulated blinds to avoid window drafts that can bring cold air throughout the house.
Lowering your thermostat temperatures during the winter months can help to save a little bit of energy over the months. However, it can be inconvenient to always be checking the thermostat temperature and figuring out where to keep the temperature. We recommend installing a smart thermostat to help ease the burden of worrying about your thermostat throughout the winter months.
We’ve talked about smart thermostats several times, because they really can save you lots of money on your monthly energy bills. Smart thermostats, such as the Nest, will learn the rhythms of your energy usage patterns and set your temperature to how you like it. As the seasons change, the thermostat will fine-tune your schedule to help you save even more in the winter months. An independent study was conducted that showed the smart thermostat saved homeowners an average of 10-15% more on their heating and cooling bills each year.
When you meet with a representative from ION Solar, ask about receiving a bonus Nest thermostat and LED light bulbs. When you switch to solar, we highly recommend the Nest Thermostat and LED light bulbs for added efficiency. Check out ionsolar.com for more information!
Clean Air Ducts
This energy saving tip is not one you hear very often. However, cleaning out your air ducts can be a great way to save on energy costs during the winter. Your air ducts will not release hot air if they are clogged. By cleaning your ducts, you can ensure that your home will be heated without any trouble!
Along with cleaning your air ducts, make sure that your vents are not being blocked by furniture. When your vents are uncovered, they are able to let out as much heat as possible without wasting any heat.
Use a Humidifier
Adding a humidifier to your heating system can save energy by keeping you more comfortable at lower temperatures. The added moisture into the air will further warm up your home. You can also add humidity to your home by investing in aquariums and houseplants!
Reduce the stress of yo-yo energy bills by installing solar panels onto your home. You can generate clean energy while not worrying about air ducts, insulation, drafty windows, etc. If you’re interested in going solar, visit ionsolar.com for a free quote!
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