Winter brings a lot of good tidings, and you use it as an opportunity to save money this winter. And it’s the time of the year when expenses are naturally higher. People are obligated to take on more expenses like hosting holiday dinners and shopping for gifts. But, do you know what makes the winter period more expensive? The spike in utility bills!
The temperatures drop and there’s a little amount of daily sunlight causing the outdoors to be colder. Naturally, families would seek shelter indoors to shield away from the cold. However, this means increased costs of lighting and heating. The biggest question remains, is there a way to reduce these costs?
Can You Save money on Utilities this Winter?
You can save money on utility bills this winter and also minimize costs. You can save on electricity bills by switching to energy-saving appliances and bulbs. But not everybody can afford this change.
Reducing your energy consumption is another viable method of cutting down electricity costs. You can also reduce your carbon footprint this way. Performing some house adjustments like adding insulation to your house can help you reduce the costs of utilities.
The rest of this article will offer you more ways in which you can save money on utilities during the winter. Check this interesting survey and why you should learn to save and also consider using Arkuda Digital if you love watching videos and listening to music on your phone.
15 Frugal Tips to Save Money on Utilities This Winter
1. Turning Down Heating Costs
Factors that can after your heating bills during winter include your habits, the state of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and your home’s condition. Most times, you’re likely using more energy than needed to heat your home.
There are two approaches to staying warm indoors, by increasing the heat which requires lots of energy, or by retaining heat. The latter is cost-effective and can help you save money on heating energy during winter.
To retain heat longer in your home, you must know where all the heat is going. Areas in your house that are prone to heat loss include:
- Power outlets
Here are some tips to reduce heating costs during summer and save money on utilities this winter:
- Wear more clothing: This habit during winter would help you reduce the need of turning up the heater.
- Annex the heat from the sun: Open your curtains, blinds, or shades during the day to let the warmth from the sun in. Close them at night to add more insulation to your windows.
- Close off Unused Rooms: If you live in a large home, ensure heat is not going where they’re not needed.
- Cook or Bake at Home: Utilize the extra heat from your ovens to heat your home. You might have to open your kitchen doors after cooking to let the heat spread to other areas of your home.
- Turn the Thermostat Down: You can save a lot of energy if you’ll just tune down your thermostat a bit.
- Keep Heat From Escaping From Your Ducts: Have them sealed during winter. Helps with heat retention.
- Use Ceiling Fans: The direction in which the blades of your fans blows determine if it cools or heats your room. Set your fans to turn clockwise to spread heat across your room. Most fans have a small switch for this at the base.
2. Unplug Vampire Electronics
Energy suckers are the worst! Devices that continue to suck power even after you’ve switched them off can cost you a lot. It’s important to identify these devices and unplug them from your sockets when not in use in order to save money on utilities this winter.
You should suspect devices like satellite TV boxes, instant-on TVs, computers, surround sound systems, or even cables. If you’re not going to be using them for some time, you should unplug them.
3. Cool off water heating bills
Your water heating bills can reduce drastically if you make some slight adjustments to your daily hot water usage. If you want to reduce the amount of hot water you use daily and save some money, here are some simple tips:
- Use Less Hot Water: First, identify how much hot water you use daily and decide which task needs to be done with hot water. You can save a lot by choosing to wash your laundry with cold water instead of hot water.
Cold showers aren’t as bad as you believe, they’re even beneficial for your skin. And it reduces the need to heat water and saves energy, so use the cold side of your faucets once in a while.
- Install Low-Flow Faucets and Shower Heads: Using old, inefficient fixtures would increase the amount of water that flows down the drain. This wastage would lead to you needing more hot water than necessary and you’ll have to pay more on water heating bills.
You can save money by investing in updated, low-flow models that will help you manage water efficiently.
- Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Water Heater: If you search the internet or your local store, you’ll find tons of energy-efficient water heaters for sale. You might be needed a replacement if your water heater is old — above 7 years.
Most new models of water heaters are designed to be energy efficient. When shopping for a water heater, consider a heat pump or tankless water heater as they are more efficient than traditional water heaters.
- Turn Down the Thermostat on Your Water Heater: Thermostats on water heaters allow you to control the temperature at which the water is heated. The pre-set temperature for most water heaters is 140°F.
You can save a lot of energy by setting the temperature at a lower level — 120°F is ideal for most households. This will result in a reduction in demand heat loss and standby. Think about how much you’ll be saving for a 20°F temperature difference.
- Fix Leaks Fast: No amount how much it might appear to be, never put off plumbing repairs for later. This can contribute greatly to the wastage of hot water and could cost you far more than the cost of repairing the leak. Schedule a plumbing repair immediately if you notice a leak.
The first step toward finding strategies to enhance efficiency is to be aware of your hot water usage. A few simple tweaks can help you save money on your energy bills by increasing the efficiency of your water heating system.
4. Illuminate your lighting bills
Because the days are shorter in the winter, you’ll probably use your lights more. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs is a simple method to save money on lighting in your house. LED bulbs last 25 times longer and consume at least 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LEDs are now available in a variety of color temperature options, outdoor/indoor, and dimmable incandescent lights.
Turn on holiday lights after sunset and turn them off before going to bed to save energy.
5. Evaluate your appliance use
The cost of energy to run equipment like a dishwasher or refrigerator takes up a large number of utility bills in most households. You can reduce the temperature of your freezer and refrigerator to 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, to save electricity. Ensure that only full loads, not partial loads are washed and dried. Also, think about air-drying your laundry—or at the very least, not over-drying it.
6. Dig into winter landscaping
Dig into Winter Landscaping to save money on utilities this winter. Take advantage of your large yard that has been left unutilized. You can strategically plant shrubs and trees in your surrounding area to reduce cold winter winds. To shield the chill, choose vegetation with low crowns, such as dense evergreen shrubs and trees, and cluster them together. This can help you reduce your home’s energy needs and save money.
Plant trees or shrubs to the north and northwest of your house to save money on utilities this winter. You can also plant plants on the windward side of your house to catch snow before it blows into your house.
To produce dead-air pockets that improve your home’s insulation, leave at least 1 foot of space between your home’s wall and a smaller plant’s full development.
7. Check the insulation in your home
Installing insulation is one of the best methods to save money on utilities during the winter. Insulation in your home can help you save a significant amount of money. So why not add it to your home?
For your home insulation installation, your attic is a good place to start because it keeps your living space warmer. You might also want to focus on your walls as this is one of the places where heat can easily escape.
If you don’t already have one, get a programmable thermostat now.
When you’re away from home or sleeping, reduce the thermostat setting. You won’t forget to turn the thermostat down before you leave and end up heating an empty house (this is one of our pet peeves).
There are even thermostats that can be programmed by themselves in today’s technology! Some adapt and study your daily patterns automatically, without your involvement.
8. Perform an energy audit
To find out how your energy usage compares to others in your region, you can use online resources like the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick. Consider a professional home-energy audit if you find yourself spending more than others regularly. You can hire a qualified professional to come over to your house and examine your utility bills for inefficiencies, suggest upgrades, and make other suggestions.
9. Place Rugs on Hard Floor
Rugs aren’t meant to be just a decorative element in a room. They also act as a layer of insulation between your feet and the cold concrete floors. Using area rugs is a stylish way of warming up a room, especially with a rug pad below. You can also use rugs as wall hangings to further insulate your room.
10. Save money on utilities this winter with your Christmas lights
Holiday decorations are a culture in most households during the December period. Everyone wants to adorn their house with lots of colors, and tiny lights hanging on a Christmas tree. They can cause a lot of unnecessary energy usage even though they are festive and shiny.
You don’t have to sacrifice this festive culture to save energy. Instead, when shopping for Christmas lighting, consider LED light strings as energy-effective options to incandescent bulbs. Also, you don’t have to put the lights on all the time. Switch them off whenever you’re going to bed.
11. Find Ways to Conserve Water
Conserving water, particularly hot water, has environmental benefits in addition to financial ones and also helps you save money on utilities.
Ensure you don’t waste energy by heating water, as was indicated earlier. Don’t let the hot water run when you’re washing your hands, brushing or flossing your teeth, and doing the dishes. You’re wasting water and money this way.
In addition, showers consume significantly lesser hot water than baths, especially if you use an Echo shower head. It’s best to save soaking in the tub for when you really need it! It’s much better if you do away with the bathtub entirely and install a walk-in shower.
However, if you’re having a shower, limit your time there to less than 6 minutes. There are numerous benefits to taking a cold shower, so you might as well “reward” yourself now and then.
12. Be a Smart Cook
The oven, on average, consumes one-third of the same energy per minute of operation just as the electric shower in typical households. This is to say, unless your oven is an A+ rated oven, cooking for just an hour costs nearly the same as a 20-minute shower. If you’re able to cook more efficiently, you’ll save money on your utility expenses.
Start by using a timer to ensure the oven is properly preheated before you begin cooking. To avoid spending money on heating an oven that has nothing in it when the alarm goes off, put your food in as soon as you hear it.
You can finish cooking your meal with the residual heat left after turning off the rings/oven when you are almost done with your food. The temperature in your oven will remain constant for at least five minutes.
As a result of this simple change, you might save up to $10 a year. In addition, if you leave your oven door open, the oven cools down, and the heat from it will assist warm up your house if the weather is chilly outside.
13. Sving money on Utilities via minding the fridge
Your refrigerator uses a lot more electricity than you believe because it runs all day, every day. Running a refrigerator might cost as much as $15 a month.
A refrigerator takes an average of 45 minutes to return to its original temperature for every 10–20 seconds you leave the door open. Consequently, if you’re getting food, don’t keep the door open for a long time.
Make sure you don’t put hot food in the fridge or freezer right away, either. The refrigerator or freezer will have harder work to do and use more energy to keep the temperature at a safe level. These tip will help you save money on utilities this winter.
14. Exercise caution when using the dryer.
Because tumble dryers use a lot of energy, it’s better to hang your clothes out to dry on a clothes hanger or the line when the weather is nice and dry. But, you can save up to 25% on drying time by sorting your clothing into lighter and denser loads before putting them in the dryer. Also, you can do the same with dryer balls.
Don’t overdo it, however; if you remove your clothes and they are still somewhat moist, you can easily put them in the hotpress overnight to help with drying and save cost.
15. Think ‘Smart’
If you have a smartphone or any device with an internet connection, you can remotely access the heating and lighting in your home from anywhere. This gives you better control over your lighting and heating systems, resulting in better comfort for you and lower energy costs for you.
Always schedule your heating at a later time if you’re going to be late getting home after work because of traffic, and you’ll save extra income on utilities by not warming an empty house.
Prioritize Night Over Day Chores
The cost of electricity is lower at night, so run your home appliances like washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher at night. At peak hours, energy usage will be subject to higher rates from the utility companies. Consider running these appliances at a lower cost during off-peak hours.
However, this only works if your utility provider offers “dual time” prices. Flat pricing is common, and the time of day you use the most energy is not always an issue. Check out how to make a personal budget in 6 easy steps
Please Contact your Utility Provider.
You may be able to take advantage of some free or reduced-cost options. Some businesses are installing thermostats that can be controlled remotely and are programmed to turn off periodically. The only way you’ll see the difference is on your bill.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article. By now, you should have discovered some of the ways you can cut down money on utilities during the winter period.
Regardless of where you live, you can try the above ten strategies to save money on utilities and stay warm and comfortable this holiday season while lowering your energy bills. If you enjoyed this article, Read more on these 17 sure ways to save $10,000 in a year.