As the weather begins to cool off, the last thing you want to do is turn down your heat. Unfortunately, those energy costs can rise higher than an Alaskan snow drift. While the obvious answer is to bundle up and wait it out, there are a number of small steps you can take to reduce your energy bills.
It’s the Little Things that Count
How many times have you left your cell phone charger plugged in long after you’ve removed your phone? Have you left a power strip switched on when there was nothing plugged into it? Little things like that seep little bits of power out of your home that can quickly add up. Try to unplug any item that isn’t being used.
Make Your Home Seem Warmer Than It Is
While lowering your thermostat by just one degree can reduce your energy costs by up to three percent, there are other ways to make you feel warm. Do you have tile or wood floors? Invest in a few more throw rugs to keep the floor and your feet from feeling that winter sting.
During the winter, the air inside your home can get very dry. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and help you feel more comfortable so you can actually lower your thermostat. (Household plants and aquariums can also add moisture.)
Your Fireplace May Be to Blame
You may think your fireplace will keep your home warm at a lower cost, but it will actually increase your heating bill. A roaring fire requires lots of oxygen, and it will suck the warm air right out of your house. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your fireplace, but avoid doing so when the outside temperature is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold air that will enter your house through the open flue wastes more heat than is gained.
Don’t forget that your chimney can be just as detrimental as an open window. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when you’re not using it to avoid cold air leaks.