It was as if one gigantic tsunami wave hit America when the virus landed. The deluge brought business to a standstill. Worse, it washed away the needed cash. The scenario became a familiar refrain for millions of Americans. Budgets are down and precious dollars are hard to find.
Indeed about 6 % of Americans attest that budgeting their monthly income has forever been changed because of the pandemic. Many now spend less on luxury goods, movies, clothes, video games, and entertainment and a lot more on self-care products, healthcare, groceries, and utility bills.
To add injury to insult, utility bills for many homes skyrocketed during the pandemic. It’s understandable. As more people are in the house for longer, more people need all the comforts the house offers.
The electricity bill for one, clocked at an alarming rate especially as more people rely on home HVAC systems to cool them in summer. If that’s true for you this summer, then that should be true for you this winter. Staying warm in winter will come at a cost. Indeed, increased energy use equates to an increased bill.
The good news is there are ways you can actually stay warm during winter and yet do so at less cost. Taking a page from the experts should be wise on your part. Listed below are five tried-and-tested steps to get you started.
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Entrap the Heat Inside
The very first step to saving energy is ensuring there are no air leaks on your property. Indeed, proper insulation matters.
Oftentimes, many homes harbor air leaks without the owner knowing. Usually, doors and windows are the main culprits. And for this reason, when the house is heated up, the heat keeps going out because of the leaks. This leads to more energy being consumed just to make the house feel warm.
You can also look out for gaps and cracks in your home. A thermal camera can do wonders in making it all happen. Cracks have a role to play in the dissipation of heat outside the house. This can be easily fixed by closing up the cracks and gaps in your home.
Another thing that you can do is close the curtains. Leaving the curtains open will cause leakage of heat from your home especially at night. If you have sunlit windows, you can open them during the day to boost heat with solar energy. But at night remember to have them closed.
Check the Furnace Filter
It is also vital to check all your cooling and heating systems to ensure they are functioning, especially your furnace. For one, the furnace filters have to be clean for them to function well during winter and at the same not consume too much energy.
If your filters can be reused, just have them cleaned and use them again. If they have to be replaced, you can get a new filter to use. And just in case there is something wrong with the filter, get help to fix it. You can have experts repair your furnace early so that you don’t have to deal with higher professional charges during winter.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Another way to save on energy bills is by turning down the thermostat when you want to sleep. You can lower it by 10-15 degrees. This can help you save as much as 1 % on energy bills.
Moreover, another option is getting a smart thermostat. With one, you won’t have to bother yourself about adjusting the thermostat from time to time. You can simply program the thermostat to come on when you are home and off when you aren’t. Also, you can control your heating system using your phone. So you won’t have to be home to factor changes.
Be Efficient with the Use of Devices
As much as you can, use the energy saver mode for your devices. This would be easy with your phone. For other devices, find out if there’s an option for battery saver or low power mode. Then turn it on once you find it. With this, you will be able to reduce the energy your devices consume.
Also, when you are not using devices, ensure they are turned off. Leaving them on will mean more energy consumption leading to more money being spent.
Opt for Energy-saving Lights and Appliances
There are many appliances and lights out there that are focused on energy saving. With these appliances, saving energy is a lot easier.
For lights, opt for LEDs. These are good for making the house well-lit while not consuming too much energy. And the great thing about LEDs is that you get to save a lot more money in the long run because they last a lot longer.
Consuming so much energy during winter is the order of the day for many families but this doesn’t have to be the case for yours. You can consume less energy and save some bucks this coming winter by applying the tips above. With money saved, your Christmas should look happier than last year.