Lower Your Energy Bill In The New Year With These Tips
Homeowners know that when Old Man Winter brings down his frosty head, it means a higher energy bill. Heating costs make up almost half of an average Illinois home’s energy expenses. If you are concerned about your energy bill this winter, then check out our top tips for conserving energy and heat this winter.
1. What Causes Your Energy Bill To Spike In The Winter
The temperature drops in the winter and spring, so heating costs normally rise. This can lead to a spike in energy costs that is not desired. The average monthly usage of residential customers is 602 kWh. The summer average usage is 505 kWh, or approximately $78 per month for a monthly bill. The winter average is 706kWh, which is more than 200 kWh higher than the summer. Here are the reasons why?
You stay more at home: Cold weather can make us long for our warm and comfortable homes. We spend more time at home and use heat, lights, and TV to keep us entertained and cozy. Winter break means that kids are not at school which can increase electricity consumption.
Temperature drops: In the United States, the coldest day of the year is from mid-December to late February, and winter starts earlier in higher latitude places. This means that heating systems have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors, and your electric utility bills can soar.
Holiday decorations: Holidays are a great time to use a lot of energy-consuming decorations and festive lights. Extra lighting can cause an increase in electricity consumption, especially if you are a passionate lighting artist.
Hot Water Heaters: Electric hot water heaters are heavy in usage. Silt and other water residues can build up on electric hot water heater elements. This can insulate the water from heat sources, causing the heater to work harder for the same water temperature.
2. Tips To Reduce Your Energy Bill
The cost of keeping the lights on can be quite expensive, as well as the heating and cooling costs. According to the Energy Department, the average family spends more than $1,400 annually on utilities. Lowering your usage can bring down your bill as high as 25%. These effective ways can help you save money
Lower Your Thermostat
Lowering the temperature in your house is a great way to cut down on your energy bills. You don’t have to turn your home into a polar bear sanctuary. Setting the thermostat a few degrees lower can help you save significant money over time.
Keep Warm With Socks And Sweaters
You’ll want to keep warm, however. You can set your thermostat to the lowest temperature that you feel comfortable, while still wearing a sweater, socks, or sweatpants.
To Keep Warm At Night, Use Blankets
You can reduce the temperature by turning down the thermostat once everyone is in bed. Your family will feel warm under blankets. The U.S. Department of Energy claims that you can save 10% on your energy and Northshore Gas bills by setting your thermostat to 10-15 degrees for 8 hours per day.
Close Vents And Doors For Unused Rooms
Many homeowners have one or two rooms that they rarely use. You can think of many examples: guest rooms, storage rooms and basements. Heating a room that no one uses is a waste of money and energy. All rooms that aren’t being used should be closed. You can open the vents once again for guests, or if your college student is returning for holiday break.
Stop Air Leakage
Do you feel your home is a little drafty lately? Drafts can be caused by heat escaping from your house. Seal air leakages with weather stripping and caulk. If you think you are losing heated air, check the weather stripping around your exterior doors and windows. You can also let winter air in through gaps in your insulation, electrical outlets, light fixtures, AC unit, or other devices. You should check your basement and attic for air leaks. Replace missing or damaged weather stripping and apply new caulk on any cracked seals. For larger gaps, you may need to replace or install insulation.
You Can Get Free Energy From The Sun
The sun is a source of free, clean energy. You don’t even have to install solar panels. Simply open your curtains and blinds whenever the sun shines on your home to let that amazing solar energy shine into your Illinois home.
You will save money in summer by using many of the techniques to conserve energy in winter. It’s about keeping the air outside and inside conditioned, as well as reducing energy waste. Smart thermostats, LED lighting, insulation, and air sealing should all be part of your year-round strategy to maximize energy efficiency and save money. You can save tons of money by being energy smart all year. Is your electric bill still outrageously high? You might have a problem with your energy plan. If your month-to-month plan is ending, and you have a default plan, it may be worth upgrading to a plan that has a fixed rate. A fixed-rate plan locks you into one low rate for the entire year. Find out how a new electricity plan could help your budget.