Does your electric bill go up in the winter? Learning how to lower your electric bill in winter can save you money and reduce your energy consumption — a real win-win if you ask us. In an effort to spread the good news, LifeEnergy created this simple guide to conserving energy and saving on heating costs this winter.
So, snuggle up with a blanket, make a cup of hot cocoa, and get ready to bask in the (literal) warmth you’ll create when you implement these winter energy savings tips.
Invest in and set up a programmable thermostat
If you’re asking yourself, “How can I lower my electric bill in winter?” for the first time, your first step is to invest in a programmable thermostat.
Once set, a programmable thermostat remembers to turn off your heat when you leave the house for work and to turn down the heat a few degrees at your usual bedtime. That’s one less thing for you to worry about when you’re hustling your kids (or pets) out the door or when you’re cozying up in bed after a long day at work.
When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save you money and pay for itself many times over. We often hear from friends and customers alike that a programmable thermostat was the key to how they cut their electric bill in half.
But isn’t it cheaper to leave the heating on all day? That’s one of the more frequently asked LifeEnergy FAQs, and if we could, we’d shout from our rooftops that the answer is no. It is more expensive for your heating system to work all day to maintain a warm home temperature than it is for it to heat up a cold house.
If you’re wary of coming home to a cold house, program your thermostat to turn the heat on 30 minutes before you typically come home.
Seal air leaks & insulate everything but the kitchen sink
Sealing air leaks is another good solution for how to lower your electric bill in winter, especially if you live in an older home. Note that your house can “leak” in all different kinds of ways, so you may feel a little bit like this kitty at times:
Tips for keeping cold air outside your home:
- Check windows and doors and outside-facing baseboards for leaks and seal them.
- Purchase door sweeps for doors that lead outside, as well as doors to your basement and/or attic.
- Close your garage door regularly.
- Close the fireplace damper when your fireplace is not in use.
- Check that your home is properly insulated, including your basement, attic, and electrical outlets.
If you’re wondering how to lower the electric bill in an apartment, we recognize that renters, unfortunately, can’t control how well their apartments are insulated. But don’t despair! By the time you get through this guide, you’ll have plenty of options to lower your electric bill in winter.
Use your window(s) of opportunity
In addition to checking your windows for potential leaks, you can look to your windows for several other money-saving means for lowering your electric bill in winter.
Our windows are our… well, windows… to the outside world, including, importantly, the sun. Sunlight is free, and it’s smart to take advantage of the free warmth it provides.
To do so, make sure to open the shutters or curtains of your windows when the sun is out. In the northern hemisphere, south-facing windows will receive the most sun. Then, cover your windows when the sun goes down to conserve heat.
If you know you’re not going to remember to open and close your window coverings at the right time (or if you want to save even more energy), consider purchasing energy-conserving drapes.
Cuddle up before you pony up
While this trick for how to lower your electric bill in winter may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people like to turn the heat up so that they can wear shorts around their house. More power (and power bills) to them, but we’re here to talk about lowering how much you pay for electricity, so in this case, consider it unwise to lounge around in your skivvies in January.
Instead, wear clothes that will keep you comfortable and warm. You lose the most body heat through your feet (not your head, as many people think) so slippers or a few quality pairs of wool socks can go a long way in saving you money. Area rugs will also help insulate your home and keep your toes toasty.
Finally, throw blankets are another solid investment (if you can ever get yours back from your cat).
Maintain your heater
Taking care of your furnace is way less fun than picking out comfy socks, but it’s just as (if not more) important to lowering your electric bill in winter. If you can, check and replace your filters every month and have your furnace serviced at least once a year.
You may also be able to keep more money in your pocket by knowing the age of your furnace. If you have an older furnace, closing the vents in rooms you don’t use will conserve energy; if you have a new furnace, leave all of the vents open.
Use these little money-saving tricks
The aforementioned tips are almost always your best resources for how to lower your energy bill in winter the most, but maintaining these smaller practices can also add up to some serious savings year-round.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan’s motor. Typically, ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, which creates a cooling effect. But if you set your blades to rotate clockwise at low speeds, they will create an updraft, which in turn pushes warm air down towards you.
- Make the most of laundry days. Save energy by waiting until you have a full load before washing your clothes (as opposed to doing multiple small loads). Wet air feels warmer than cold air, so consider line-drying your clothes indoors. If you do run the dryer, leave the door open when you’re finished; you’ve already paid for that heat, why not let it do a little double duty? The same can be done with your dishwasher.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater. Most water heaters are set to meet temperatures higher than we need. Lowering the temperature of your water heater may help lower your energy bill in winter. While you’re at it, make sure your water heater is well-insulated.
- Check the fridge. Is your fridge set at a temperature that’s lower than the recommended 32°F – 40°F? If so, adjusting the temperature can lower your energy bill. Cleaning your refrigerator’s coils may also help cut costs.
- Use smaller appliances when possible. For example, use a microwave (or even a crockpot) to heat your meals in lieu of using your oven or stovetop. The former uses less energy than the latter.
- Unplug your devices when you’re not using them. Your electronics continue to draw energy from outlets even when they are turned off, costing you money you could have spent elsewhere.
- Choose your lighting wisely. LED lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lights. Switching to LED lights could save you some serious bank, especially if you put up holiday lights in winter.
- Play decorator. Even if you seal leaks in your windows and doors, the areas around them are still often colder than other areas of the house. If your bed or favorite couch are located near a window, rearrange them so that they are in a cozier corner.
Want to lower your electric bill in winter? Make the LifeSwitch.
If your average winter electric bill is more than you can stomach, the problem may not be your home or apartment. It could be your energy supplier. And until now, most people would rather caulk a million windows before getting on the phone with their energy company — but you don’t have to with LifeEnergy’s easy online enrollment.
Whether you’re a renewable energy veteran or you’re looking at your computer/phone, stroking your chin, and mumbling, “How does renewable energy actually work?” LifeEnergy believes you should feel empowered when making your energy choices this winter.
We are renewable business energy suppliers and renewable energy electricity suppliers that have built personalized, easy-to-understand energy plans to meet the needs of your apartment, house, company building, and wallet.
Ready to go green? Easily sign up for LifeEnergy today.