As the temperatures drop and the sweaters and boots come out, we in CT are preparing for another long cold winter ahead of us. Although the chilly months bring forth a wide variety of fun outdoor activities (snowball fights anyone?), they turn up the heat on the electric bill. Before you deck the halls and cozy up to that warm fireplace, make sure you are ready for the long winter ahead. Use these 5 handy tips to keep your winter electric bill from going through the roof!
1. Cut Back At The Right Time
Knowing when to slow down on your energy usage will help you feel the holiday spirit when your bill shows up. Peak hours are usually between 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. Weekends and holidays tend to be off-peak. Every location and different company defines peak hours, so make sure to check with your provider for exact times. Use their information to cut back and save!
2. Insulate It
You can buy strips of self-stick rubber weather sealing at a hardware store or online. Cut long strips down to fit your window dimensions, then peel and stick to the frame to close any gaps and keep out drafts.
Many people don’t think to insulate their attics, but hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat and cold air in homes without proper insulation. Also, closing rooms you aren’t in off can keep the warm air where you need it most.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you have big thick curtains on the south and west sides of your house that are kept open during the day to take advantage of the winter. Shut them once the sun’s down to keep that cozy heat in!
3. Bright Ideas!
If you replace just two or three of your frequently used lights in your house with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) you can see a drop in your electric bill by $40 per light bulb over the course of its lifetime. These efficient lights will save you money without you even noticing.
4. Watch Out For The Vampire
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, $10 billion is wasted every year on vampire energy, which is also known as standby power. Make sure than any electronics that you are using are off and unplugged when they aren’t in use. This can save you real money when your bill comes around.
If unplugging each device you use around the house sounds tedious and unlikely, never fear! If that's the case, many companies sell affordable power switches that you can plug into wall outlets.