by Saori Lau
The US Energy Information Administration has reported that American households that use natural gas could be spending up to 30% more on heating than in 2020. Colder temperatures, which equal an increase in energy consumption, as well as higher prices after COVID-19 are responsible for this year’s higher bills. Luckily, lowering your energy consumption doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some easy ways to help the planet and save money while still keeping warm.
Use Space Heaters
The Department of Energy states that people can save 1% of their bill for every degree they lower on their thermostat. Decreasing the temperature and using a space heater where the family is gathered is a great way to save energy. Using one on bedrooms at night instead of heating the whole house is another way of lowering energy consumption.
Have Your Curtains Open During the Day
Natural sunlight can warm your house at no extra cost, especially with south-facing windows. Just remember to close them at night to keep the heat in. If your windows are drafty, buying quilted curtains is an inexpensive solution to avoid losing heat.
Replace Your Lights with LED Bulbs
Not only do LED bulbs last longer, but they are also more energy efficient than regular lights. According to the Washington Post, they “use about 75% less energy and last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.” Replacing Christmas lights with LED ones will also help reduce your energy consumption and your bill. Turning off your lights when not using them seems like a no-brainer, but we can often forget to do it, but making it a habit is worthwhile.
Change Your Ceiling Fan’s Rotation
Ceiling fans are usually only used during the summer, but they can actually help redirect heat towards you, eliminating the need to raise the thermostat. Because heat rises, making your fan spin in a clockwise rotation will help send the heat down.
Seal Any Leaks
Look around your house, especially your basement and attic to find any gaps where heat might be escaping and the cold could be creeping in. Using caulk and weatherstripping will help with door and window frames while foam insulation can be used where pipes come in.
Using heat this winter might be inevitable but by making little changes and applying these tips, you’ll be helping the planet by decreasing your energy consumption while also keeping your bill down. If you found these tips helpful or enjoyed this blog, feel free to check out our other posts here!