When you live in a cold climate, a fair portion of your budget goes to keeping you and your family warm and staving off the arctic temperatures. Of course, no one wants to pay more than they need to. The key to lowering your energy consumption in the winter is to take action early in the season. Now is the perfect time.
An Ounce of Prevention. . .
One of the best ways to use less energy is to look for silent money drains. Do you have a drafty old door? If you can’t afford to install a new one, consider installing weather stripping at the bottom to keep out the cold. If you don’t want to spend the money for that, you can put something by the door to block the cold such as an old towel, though weather stripping would work better.
Likewise, an easy, fairly frugal solution for drafty old windows is to install plastic window covers. You’ll keep the cold out and save a bundle on energy bills. If you don’t like the look of plastic on your windows, heavy thermal curtains can also do a good job of keeping out the cold.
Don’t forget to also insulate your pipes, especially around your water heater.
Caulk any areas where drafts might seep in such as where your floor and wall meet if the two have started to pull away from each other as they tend to do in old houses.
Don’t forget to also take the time to comparison shop. You likely have several energy providers you can choose from. Don’t assume that the company you went with last year will automatically offer you the best rate. Instead, take the time to comparison shop using an online tool such as the one at Totally Money and see which will offer you the best deal.
If possible, consider signing up for the company’s budget plan. Then, you can pay the same fixed rate every month rather than being susceptible to high energy bills in the winter and low ones in the spring and fall.
If you’re someone who likes to keep your home toasty so you can wear t-shirts and shorts all winter, please reconsider. Instead, drop your heating temperature by a few degrees and wear long pants and a shirt and sweater or sweatshirt. Some people even invest in thermal long underwear to wear under their pants at home so they can keep the temperature even a bit lower.
Even better, MSN suggests installing an automatic thermostat so you can drop the temperature significantly when you’re at work and bump it up an hour or so before you come home so your home won’t be uncomfortably cold.
Saving on your energy bill not only helps you keep more money in your wallet, but just as important, it helps you use less of Earth’s natural resources. Curbing your energy consumption is a win-win on many levels.
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