Winter is coming, and so are higher electric bills. eegads!
Many have already noticed the increase in their electric bills, thanks to rate changes at electric companies. As they do every year, the colder months are headed our way, which usually means more energy use.
If you heat with oil or gas, you wont be using electricity to heat your home, but you will probably still be cooking more indoors (not cooking on the grill when its too cold out), using more lights (since its darker out in most areas), and most likely spending more time indoors—therefore using more electronic devices.
Here are my top 10 favorite tips for saving on electricity:
1. Turn it off.
An oldie but goodie, and it bears repeating—turn off lights when you’re not in the room, turn off the television if you’re not watching, and unplug vampire devices when not in use.
2. Wash it full, and on cold, baby!
My life got so much better when I stopped sorting laundry. Wash all of your clothes together, in cold water. The only exception I have for this is my towels, sheets, and my husbands jiu-jitsu gi—those get the hot water treatment to kill bacteria. Plus, now that you’re not sorting into a bunch of separate loads, hopefully you have completely full loads in that washer!
3. Air dry if possible.
Yes, I know this is harder in the colder months when you don’t have warm summer breezes to dry your things, but you can still setup an indoor drying rack for delicates, thinner clothing and some sweaters, if not everything!
4. Go solar.
I am so jealous when I see a roof being filled up with solar panels, I just love the whole solar energy movement. It is becoming cheaper and easier to go solar now, if you happen to have the right roof for it.
5. Let the sun in.
Create a habit of opening any sunny windows in the morning to let the sun in, and then using heavy curtains to keep the heat in at night. Keeping your windows nice and clean may also be helpful, and more light is uplifting during winter.
6. Seal up those seams.
Make sure you’re not getting drafts around windows and doors, and make sure you lock all of the latches on your windows—most windows are designed so that they are actually not weather-sealed until the latch is closed. Running some caulking, insulating foam or tape around doors and windows is a cheap and easy way to save those dollar bills.
7. More oven, less stove top.
Finding recipes that can be made inside the oven instead of on top of the stove can be energy savers, especially since they add heat to your home (leave the door open after). When you cook things on the stove top, the heat is escaping unless you are constantly using covers (I know I don’t!). I am loving dutch oven cooking this fall. And of course, don’t forget your slow cooker, you can effortlessly have a delicious meal at the end of the day, for just pennies in energy.
8. Close your A/C vents.
If you have central air for cold, but not central air for heat, remember to close those vents—otherwise your heat is going right up into them and being lost in the ducts in your attic. You can go even further and purchase magnetic vent covers to seal them up good.
9. Glass doors on the fireplace.
Whether or not you use your fireplace, this is a great tip. If you don’t use it, the fireplace is basically a hole in your roof, especially if you don’t have a great damper. If you do use it, glass doors can prevent the warm air inside your home from being sucked out while the fire is burning, and instead just throw off heat.
10. Turn down the water heat.
I so wish we had a tank-less water heater, but sadly not yet. Check the water temperature on your water heater, and turn down to 120 degrees. There is just no need for it to be any hotter than that, and could actually be harmful if too hot.
Listen to the latest Green Divas at Home podcast, for more helpful hints to make your home more green…
Images via Shutterstock.com