Chances are, your energy bills are at an all-time high right now. The Atlanta area has already seen several snow days this season with more on the way. Whether you’re looking to save extra green on energy bills or simply want to go greener in your home, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your energy usage and cut costs this winter. Check out these tips to not only save energy in your home but also save money while staying comfortable during the coldest snow days!
Adjust Your Thermostat
During the day (especially if you’re away at work!) set your thermostats at a lower temperature to save energy. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save about 10% per year on your energy bills just by turning your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for 8 hours a day. If the thought of coming home to cold house turns you off, consider installing a programmable thermostat. You can program the thermostat to reduce the temperature in the morning but increase it by the time you return home in the evening.
You can also save on your energy bills by only heating the rooms you need. If you have rooms in your house you don’t use on a regular basis (like a guest room or a finished basement), close off and seal the vents to those rooms. This reduces your energy usage and also redirects the flow of air to the rooms you spend the most time in. According to the Department of Energy, reducing your thermostat temperature to 62 degrees and using space heaters as needed can save you up to $200 per year on energy bills.
Insulate Your Home
Insulate, insulate, insulate. Did you know that Americans lose hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from heat (and cooled air in the summer!) escaping through poor or improper insulation? Make sure your home is properly insulated by sealing air leaks. Check the attic, walls, and floors adjacent to an unheated space, like a garage or basement to determine what type of insulation is already in your home. Check around utility cut-throughs for pipes, gaps around chimneys, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. You should also check doors and windows to ensure you have proper weather stripping to avoid letting warm air leak out in the winter.
Insulation also offers other benefits! Pests like rodents, silverfish, and cockroaches find your attic a safe haven, especially in the cold winter months. If your attic has been invaded by these pests, they have probably left behind feces and other materials that create a health hazard for you and your family. Replacing your insulation rejuvenates your attic space, offers additional protection from pests like roaches and silverfish, and reduces your energy bills by helping keep your home warmer in the winter.
Don’t Forget the Lights!
You can reduce energy usage by focusing on your lighting solutions. The easiest way to reduce energy usage is to turn off lights when they aren’t in use. During the day, keep curtains open to allow natural sunlight to light your home. This will also help with your interior temperature as the sun can help warm your home. Add motion detectors to outdoor lights to use less energy. You can also replace your household lighting with LED bulbs. LED lights use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. They also don’t emit as much heat as traditional lights so they are much safer to use!
These are just a few of the many ways you can use less energy in your home this winter! Reduce your utility bills while also doing the environment a favor - it’s a win-win!