6 ways to save more money on home energy expenses
As summer draws to a close, you may think your energy bills are on the way down - after all, no more AC means lower monthly power expenses, right? Unfortunately, as soon as autumn's over and winter sets in, cooling expenses are quickly replaced by heating costs. Instead of getting caught in an endless cycle of escalations throughout the year, there are plenty of ways to save on your home energy expenses
. Thankfully, many of them apply to the colder months ahead. Read on to learn how to do it.
1. Readjust Your Thermostat
If you didn't adjust your thermostat to keep your house warmer during those hot summer months, you should have - it's a great way to save. Now, it's time to go the other way. Keeping your home just a little cooler than you'd like over the winter can save a bundle on your power bill. Temperature changes often occur quickly and if you're not careful, you may find that heat kicking on when you don't necessarily need it to. A good goal is to set your thermostat at 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter.
2. Keep Those Ceiling Fans Running
Most people think that running ceiling fans is good only during the summer months, but they also play a vital role in decreasing winter home energy costs, as long as they're rotating in the proper direction. The rule of thumb is to have them rotate counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise during the winter. Ceiling fans redistribute the hot air at the top of your rooms back down to the living area, and with it constantly circulating, your heater won't have to run as much. Look for the switch on your fans so they rotate in the proper direction at all times.
3. Investigate an Energy Audit
If you've never had your home audited by a representative from your energy provider, look into this service now - which many companies offer for free. Whether it's winter, summer, spring, or fall, a representative can come inspect your house and provide you with a list of all the ways to cut costs. Schedule an appointment, make time to be there, and put the advice you're given into practice. You won't be sorry.
4. Quickly Inspect Ceiling Insulation
You don't have to be an expert to inspect your insulation. Just get up in your attic and if you can see the footers or two-by-fours showing through, you need more. Get estimates from at least three contractors or consider going solo if you think you have the required expertise for an insulation upgrade. It is typically a messy endeavor, but insulation can be purchased at all major hardware and home and garden retailers - and you can save good money by going DIY.
5. Dress Appropriately
We all know that trimming down to tank tops and shorts in the summer is a great way to keep cool. By the same token, loading up on sweaters and sweatpants in the wintertime is also an excellent idea. It's a very simple equation: add more clothes to keep costs down in the winter months and subtract them in the summer.
6. Cook at Opportune Times
Now that heat is your friend, you don't have to cook in the early morning hours or late at night to keep from over-using your AC. Actually, you want to do this during the day to increase the temperature of your home. Fire up the stove or oven and get your cooking done during the day and your energy bills should thank you for it.
Managing your home energy expenses is important. If you knew you could save $150 per season just by putting on the appropriate attire, would you do it? This, and the other steps detailed above, are simple and easy ways to improve your overall financial picture. Home energy, just like all other monthly expenses can be effectively managed with some common sense, a little creativity, and a bit of restraint. Combine all three and you set yourself up for an overall smooth run for your finances on an annual basis.
What other ways can you think of to cut home energy expenses?
Gary Fox is a homeowner in Georgia who enjoys writing about money saving
strategies, home improvement projects, and frugal living.