Paying for utilities can be expensive any time of the year, but it can be particularly costly during the winter. If you would like to avoid paying more for utilities than necessary when the temperatures drop, consider these tips for reducing your utility costs this winter season.
1. Use a Programmable Thermostat
First of all, if you and your family do not already have one, you may want to think about installing a programmable thermostat in your home. A programmable thermostat is quite simple; like any other thermostat, it is designed to control your heating and cooling system to keep your home at the right temperature. What makes one of these thermostats different, however, is the fact that it can be programmed to keep your home at a certain temperature at certain times of the day.
During the winter, this can be a good thing, and it can help you conserve a lot of energy and save a lot of money. For example, during the daytime when you might be at work and when your kids might be at school, you may not want to waste money heating the home and keeping it cozy and warm. However, you probably don’t want it to get cold enough for your pipes to freeze, and you probably do not want to arrive at home to a freezing cold house, either. This is where a programmable thermostat can help. Then, you can set the temperature in your home to a lower temperature like 60 degrees, which can keep indoor pets safe from cold temperatures and can prevent pipes from freezing. Then, you can set your system so that your home will be back at a cozier temperature by the time you and your family members get home at the end of the day.
2. Bundle Up
Of course, the first thing that you probably want to do when you arrive home is to strip off your heavy winter coat and your gloves. However, bundling up in some ways, such as by wearing warm flannel pajamas or snuggling up with a thick robe or a big, fuzzy blanket, can help you stay warm and cozy when you’re at home and can allow you to keep your thermostat set at a slightly lower temperature. This can save you a significant amount of money on energy. Plus, it can help you experience less of a “shock” in temperatures between the indoors and outdoors, so you can become better acclimated to the winter temperatures.
3. Seal Everything Up
Taking the time to make sure your home is as well-sealed and well-insulated as possible is important. This can help you prevent your home from getting as cold in the first place, making it much easier and more affordable to keep it heated. For example, if your insulation is old, it might be time to add new insulation to your ceiling, floors and walls. Additionally, taking steps like installing new weather-stripping around the outside of all of your exterior doors, using caulk to seal up the areas around your windows and otherwise sealing up your home from the cold winter elements can help prevent cold drafts, lower temperatures and higher heating bills.
As you can see, if you are looking to save on your heating bills this winter, there are things that you can do to keep costs down. You are sure to find it to be well worth your time and effort to take these three steps; after all, if you do, you might find that your gas, heating oil or electric bill will be a whole lot cheaper than you expected.