Most of us spend more time indoors in the winter months. The cozy memories we make in our homes over the holidays also wreak havoc on our energy bills. In addition to staying warm, many of life’s necessities and pleasures rely on energy. Our devices are plugged in around the clock. We opt for hotter showers. Lights and the tv stay on longer. Appliances run more often. These activities all lead to higher energy consumption in winter. With record-breaking energy bills in 2022, what can you do to lower your electric bill this winter?
What uses the most electricity in winter?
Heat makes up roughly 50% of our winter energy bills. And this year, the average family may pay more than $1200 to heat their home due to the surge in natural gas prices. Going without heat all winter isn’t an option for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. But there are simple steps you can take to save money on your electric bill in winter.
Simple tips to lower your electric bill and stay warm this winter
- Turn down the thermostat
Reducing the thermostat is the most effective way to lower your heating bill throughout winter. While it’s easy to crank it up to 74°+ on the coldest days, experts recommend setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re home. Lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees when you’re gone for an extended period and overnight will help you save roughly 10% on your heating bill. Cooling things down may clash with your idea of a warm and cozy winter indoors, but there are other ways to ensure you stay toasty this holiday season:
- Wear more layers indoors
Winter provides the perfect excuse to stay in your favorite athleisure wear or sweatshirt. Accessorize with your favorite hat and fleece until you hit your ideal level of warmth. Is there anything better than getting layered in warmth throughout the cold months?
- Bring on the blankets and throws
Keep quality blankets and throws in rooms with the most lounge time. Wrapping up in a warm blanket to binge-watch a favorite show or curl up with a book is an excellent energy-saving alternative to cranking up the heat.
- Cover the beds with comforters
Quality down and down alternative comforters will keep you warm and comfortable in winter without cramming up the heat overnight. Turning your thermostat down 5-10 degrees at night could save you hundreds on heating. A down comforter can help save you money throughout the winter and provide restful nights of sleep for years to come.
- Turn down your water heater
Warming up in the shower doesn’t have to be scalding and expensive. Lowering your water heater to 120°F can cut water heat bills by 11%.
- Use natural sunlight
Keeping your curtains open during sunny hours will help naturally heat your home. Closing all curtains and drapes when the sun sets will offer additional insulation and retain the heat your home already has.
- Replace furnace filters
Changing your furnace filters every three months is essential to lowering heating costs in the winter. Dirty filters force your furnace to work harder to warm your home, raising energy costs.
- Run ceiling fans in reverse
Using fans in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but this simple trick actually works! Heat rises, and turning a ceiling fan on in reverse pushes that hot air back down, warming your living space. Look for a reverse button on your fan and set the speed to slow for the best results.
Save on your electric bill, sleep better, and stay warm with the right bedding
Quality down comforters and down alternative comforters can help you stay warm and keep money in your pocket this winter. According to the Energy Information Association, turning your thermostat down just 1°F reduces your energy bill by 3%. So, lowering your thermostat 8-10° overnight and warming the house during the day can result in tremendous savings on your heating bill.
Additionally, keeping bedrooms cold leads to better sleep. Our body temperature naturally drops at night. Studies show that colder environments help us fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and combat insomnia and night wakings.