5 Genius Tips to Save Money on Winter Energy Costs
Make the cold season a bit more bearable with these savvy energy-saving tips.
Though we only get a few snow days per year, there's no doubting that Charlotte puts up winter temperatures worthy of bundling up for. In fact, since 1878, Charlotte has seen snow every single year—whether it was just a trace or a few inches, the Queen City is no stranger to snow days.
And with these snow days and winter temperatures comes the need for warmth. The only problem is, energy bills can really rack up in winter. Especially if you live in an older home, heating costs can be extreme. To help you save money on your winter energy bills, we've scoped out the best ways to conserve energy and keep your wallet happy. Ready for a cheaper winter, Charlotte?
1. Try a smart thermostat
Why waste heat while you're not home? Smart thermostats are a great way for homeowners to control their energy use without having to monitor it consistently. Though these thermostats are a bit pricey up front, many homeowners vouch that they are worth the investment in the long run. You can program these thermostats to match your schedule, and you can usually control them from your smartphone. So, if you forgot to turn down the heat before leaving the house, you can still do so from your phone.
There are quite a few smart thermostat brands to choose from; be sure to do your own research before purchasing.
2. Don't use your dryer
It is estimated that running your dryer will cost around 50 cents per average-sized load, which can really add up if you have kids. Especially with the various activities winter brings—ice skating, skiing, and sledding—there is bound to be a lot of moisture coming through your threshold. Instead of running the dryer all day every day to dry wet clothes, use the genius Ventmate.
This handy little contraption makes use of the heating energy you're already paying for so you don't have to use the dryer. Simply hang a few Ventmates from your air vents. As the heat comes through the vents, it also warms the clothing hanging below, making your heat work double-duty. Genius, right? Even better, the Ventmate preserves the quality of your clothing (unlike the dryer, which can harm your clothes), and it's eco-friendly. Check out Ventmate's Facebook Page here.
3. Watch your water heater
A lot of homeowners forget about the water heater when trying to cut heating bill costs. For a small but simple way to help minimize the money you're shelling out this winter season, try turning down your water heater about 20 or 30 degrees. It's unlikely you'll even really notice a difference if you change the temperature from 140 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and this tiny tweak can save about 5 to 10 percent off your water bill.
4. Keep the heat inside
It may sound like a no-brainer to keep the heat inside the house, but there are actually a lot of ways heat can escape that homeowners don't always realize. To keep your HVAC from working overtime for no reason, check all your windows and doors for any gaps where heat may be escaping.
A savvy way to check for places air may be escaping is to light a candle and holes the flame near windows, doors, and light fixtures—horizontal smoke is a sign of escaping air. Additionally, keep windows and doors closed when the heat is on, and inspect your fireplace. Close the flue when the fireplace is not in use and utilize glass doors to restrict the cold air from coming in through the fireplace. You should also turn off bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans to keep the heat in your home.
5. Get a checkup
Lastly, it is always wise to have your electric or oil heater checked out at least once a year by a professional, and gas heaters should get attention every other year. This will help ensure your heating unit is running as efficiently as possible. On the DIY front, remember to check the air filters to make sure they’re clean—dirty filters result in higher heating costs.
Make this winter your savviest yet—invest in a couple Ventmates to make drying clothes cheaper and more eco-friendly. The best part? You can use these gadgets all year long to hang-dry everything from delicates to hunting clothes to everyday items. Get a Ventmate here for only $27.95 for a lifetime of use.