As we enter the coldest part of the winter, utility bills will start to increase as your heat is running more to keep you comfortable in your home. There are many things you can do to save on your utility bills without sacrificing too much comfort. Here are some great tips to keep you warm and your utility bills low. Here are some tips to keep your costs down.  

  • Open your shades and curtains during the warmer parts of the day to allow sunlight inside to warm up your home.
  • Use ceiling fans to help circulate the warm air throughout your home and push it into the lower parts of your rooms from since heat naturally rises. Fans should turn clockwise in the winter on the lowest setting.
  • Modern electronics draw energy even when turned off. Keep devices, small appliances, and chargers unplugged when they are not being used.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs will use less energy and last longer.
  • Set your heat about five degrees cooler than normal and wear a sweater or use a blanket when you are at home. Drop the thermostat by another five degrees when you are away from home. A programmable thermostat will make this easy, or you can adjust manually.
  • Line dry your laundry if possible, and use the cold water cycle when washing. When using the dryer, make sure it is full, and the lint trap has been cleaned with each use so it will work more efficiently.
  • Take shorter showers if possible. It costs a lot of money to heat the water you use during the winter.
  • Washing dishes by hand uses more water than a dishwasher. Use the dishwasher whenever you can but only with full loads, and allow the dishes to air dry for further savings.
  • Microwaves typically use a third of the energy that the stove will use to cook the same food. This can add up over a month.
  • When you use the oven, open the door when you are finished cooking with the oven and allow the heat to escape into your home. Be careful when doing this if you have small children.
  • Keep the refrigerator full. More cold items mean your fridge doesn’t need to work as hard after the door is opened and it begins to warm up.
  • Switch out your cool cotton sheets for flannel or a knit variety to keep you warmer at night.
  • Add a blanket under your comforter or bedspread for greater warmth.
  • Keep your filters clean and change them regularly per the manufacturer’s recommendations for greatest efficiency.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and baths only as needed during the winter. They eliminate the warmest air from your home.

A little effort on your part can make a big difference in your electric bill so take the time to make these adjustments, and you should see a difference when your bills arrive.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

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