Easy Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Winter


You may have heard the age-old expression ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ and it’s very true (cha-ching).  If you’re beginning to cringe at the thought of what new heights your electric bill rise to this winter, here are some tips to help you save electricity and make viewing your bill less cringe-worthy.

  • Lower the Thermostat.  Turn down your thermostat by 2 degrees and wear a sweater, or cozy up under a throw blanket. Installing a programmable thermostat can also help you.
  • Target the Use of Space Heaters.  Using a space heater can actually cost you more in electricity charges.  To avoid burning away your money if you need to use one, using an energy-efficient model and closing the door to other rooms not in use will help.  If you can, also lower your thermostat a bit while the unit’s running. For more on this topic, click here.
  • Turn Out Extra Lights.  Start a habit of going around your house and turning off all the lights in rooms that aren’t currently in use.  Switching to power-saving light bulbs is also helpful.
  • Avoid "Phantom" Electric Usage.  Unplug appliances that aren’t in use (turning them off isn’t enough, as plugs generate electricity when plugged into an outlet).
  • Use High-Efficiency Pleated Filters and/or Change HVAC Filters Monthly.  Clean HVAC filters help your system to run efficiently, which saves money on not only reduced electricity charges, but system repair costs. If you have pets, you may want to change your filters more often. As a suggestion, change your filter when you pay your mortgage or rent. Adding a reminder to your phone calendar, with your preferred filter brand and size, can be very helpful. If you could benefit from the convenience of using a filter service, click here for Filter Easy.
  • Reduce the Temperature of Hot Water Heater.  The water heater accounts for 15–25% percent of energy consumption in the average household.  You can 3-5% on your energy bill by reducing the set temperature by 10 degrees F. Click here for step-by-step instructions on Energy.gov website.

For a helpful and informative, printable copy of EnergyStar.gov's Guide to Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling click here.

- Andrea Watkins (January 12, 2017)