15 Ways to Save on Winter Energy Bills

The winter storms have brought snow, travel snarls and increase energy needs as consumers batten down the hatches. While not turning on your heater isn’t an option at this point, it’s important to still wear your frugal hat when using energy around your home. Here are some things you can do now to ensure your winter energy bills aren’t sky high over the next few months:

General Electricity Usage

  1. Clean the lint trap in your dryer after each use.
  2. Do only full loads for your dishwasher or clothes washer.
  3. Don’t leave your computers on when you’re not using them or put them on sleep mode when you’re away.
  4. Reduce the hot water temperature to approximately 120-degrees Fahrenheit (unless your dishwasher requires a higher setting, then set it to that.)
  5. Shorten hot showers. Cutting back a few minutes can save hundreds of gallons of hot water per month for families.
  6. Turn off the lights, space heaters and fans in rooms you’re not using.
  7. Unplug appliances that you’re not using on a regular basis.
  8. Use cold water instead of hot when washing your clothes.

Heating Energy Tips

  1. Check your home for leaks and if you find anything, then fix them. Good place to look for leaks are windows and doors.
  2. Don’t leave the front door open for long periods of time (i.e. kids running in and out or bringing in groceries.)
  3. Don’t run the heat when you’re not home.
  4. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you’re using the fireplace.
  5. Let the sunshine in by opening up curtains during the day. The sun will naturally raise the temperature in those rooms.
  6. Replace or clean furnace filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict air flow and make your heater work harder, using more energy.
  7. Turn on the heat to a level where you’re comfortable wearing a sweater (approximately 68 degrees). Don’t turn it on so high that you can walk around your house wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

If you’re in the market to replacing a few old appliances, make sure to use Energy Star products. They’re designed to use less energy. Using less energy means paying less at the end of the month. Do you have a few energy saving tips to help folks save on their winter bills? Add them in the comments.

About the Author

The following post is from Kathryn Katz, a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.