Tips on How to Save on Utility Bills This Winter

Installing a timer on lights in infrequently used rooms and the home exterior can help you consume less electricity.

Winter brings increased utility costs as the day length shortens and temperatures decrease. While some amount of extra cost is natural, there are many ways to save on utility bills that can prevent normal winter heating and lighting from exceeding your budget. 


Home heating
When it's cold in the house, you reach to turn up the thermostat. Instead of doing that, put on a wool sweater or an extra pair of socks. Just keeping the thermostat one degree lower than you otherwise might will lower your home energy use by 3 to 5 percent. Maintain a temperature of 55 Fahrenheit at night and pile the blankets on the bed if you get cold. If you are likely to forget to do this, consider installing a programmable thermostat. 



Keeping the thermostat one degree lower will lower your home energy use by 3 to 5 percent.

Keeping the window blinds open in the day helps heat your home by taking advantage of the sun's natural energy. At night, close the blinds to keep the warmth in. If windows are drafty, use weatherproofing measures such as plastic window film, caulk or weather-stripping to keep the cold air out. Don't overlook hidden sources of drafts like ventilation or pipes.


Appliances
Using the dishwasher actually consumes less water than doing that sink full of dishes by hand, so fill up that dishwasher time and again. While you should always run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full, you should make sure to do so in the holiday season when frequent entertaining may increase demand. If you really need that special baking dish or holiday sweater, wash the item by hand instead of running a half-empty load. To save up to 75 percent off of your washer's energy use, use the cold water setting. If your appliances are old, upgrading to Energy Star models can reduce your energy usage and lower your utility bills. 



Always run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full.

Lighting
Because it gets dark earlier in winter and there is less natural light available, your electricity usage tends to increase. Installing a timer on lights in infrequently used rooms and the home exterior can help you consume less electricity than you might if you relied on your family members to turn off the lights when exiting a room. I you have not already done so, switching to CFLs, which consume less energy than incandescent lightbulbs, can help you save some money this winter.

If you decorate your home for the holidays, switching to LED lighting can save money over traditional incandescent holiday lights. So can using a timer, limiting you holiday light usage to under 6 hours a day and taking down your lights promptly when the holiday season concludes.


For more energy saving tips, please visit homechanneltv.com.




Sources: http://www.pnm.com/save/energy_tips_winter.htm#holiday http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/2005_releases/2005-11-02_winter-tips.html

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