ENERGY TIPS

18 Tips Guaranteed to Lower Your Winter Energy Bill

Sept. 27, 2022
Lower Your Winter Energy Bill
18 Tips To Lower Your Winter Bill

Winter is when most people use more energy than usual to keep their houses and businesses warm and cozy. If you aren’t careful, your energy bill can increase significantly when the weather shifts from warm to cold. In some parts of the country, the year’s colder months bring snow and freezing temperatures without relief.

While it is important to keep your home or business warm and comfortable for your use all day long, you don’t want to see a huge spike in your energy bill each year. Thankfully, there are some great ways to make sure that you are using the least energy while also keeping your home warm and comfortable.

18 Tips to Lower your Energy Bill in Winter

Follow these simple tips to keep your energy bill low while you stay snug and warm all winter long!

1. Sign Up for Levelized Billing with EPB before Winter

Your energy bill can fluctuate a lot during the year due to extreme heat and extreme cold. In some parts of the country, hot summers are offset by very cold winters, which can lead to lots of unexpected costs in energy expenses each season. Controlling these costs can feel impossible, but levelizing your billing with EPB can help.

Lower your winter energy bill

We calculate a “rolling average” of your power usage over the last 12 months. Then you pay nearly the same amount every month instead of having large spikes in your bill during the hottest and coldest seasons.

Levelizing your billing uses the averaging process to keep your energy costs stable and prevents unexpected spikes in your monthly charges. Learn more about Levelized billing from EPB to help keep your energy bill roughly the same amount month to month, no matter what the weather is.

2. Keep Your Thermostat Low to Reduce Your Energy Bill in the Winter

Heating and air conditioning systems account for about 48% of the power usage in the US each year. Controlling the costs associated with your heating and cooling can be easy if you follow these tips in the wintertime:

First, set your thermostat to 72 degrees and see how comfortable that feels. Then try lowering it one degree at a time. For each degree below 72 degrees, you’ll save 2-3% of your energy bill. But don’t go below 68 as this can reduce needed humidity in your home.

Your thermostat might not immediately respond to changes in the ambient temperature, but if you have a thermostat that is in working order, you will be able to keep your house at a steady temperature all year long.

Avoid making adjustments to the temperature throughout the day, as you cause spikes in your energy usage that can turn into a much bigger cost as your home has to constantly adjust and course correct to hold new temperature settings throughout the day.

Keeping your thermostat at a consistent temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit can make a big difference in your winter heating costs each year.

Studies done in hot climates in Arizona showed that picking a thermostat setting of 78 degrees during the summer saved people as much as $200 a month on cooling costs. The more stable the temperature in your home, the more likely you are to save money each month.

3. Clean Out Your Air Filters in Winter to Reduce Your Electricity Bill

The filters that are inside your air conditioning system can be responsible for some of the increased costs that you might be seeing in your heating or cooling bills each year. If you don’t clean out your filters on a regular basis, your air conditioning system has to work much harder to get its job done.

Cleaning your air filters can also reduce the dust in your home and make it smell better. If you have pets, you might also experience an improvement with pet dander and hair after replacing your air filters.

Reduce energy bill in winter

It’s usually very simple to replace these filters yourself, and you can order various levels of air filters for your needs. For those who have allergies, allergen-specific filters might be very helpful to install in the heating and cooling system in your home. This is also an affordable maintenance item that can end up saving you a lot of money each year without much invested cost or time upfront.

4. Fix Air Leaks in Your Home to Lower Your Winter Energy Bill

Any gaps around windows and doors that aren’t fixed can lead to issues with keeping hot and cool air inside your home all year long. This can waste a lot of money and make your heating and cooling processes much less efficient. You’ll want to fix any of these gaps in the seals of the windows and doors throughout your home as soon as possible.

The best way to fix this kind of issue is to apply improved or updated weather stripping to doors and windows that will fully seal the gaps when they are closed. This is an affordable fix in most cases, as standard doors and windows can easily be upgraded with weather stripping that you can purchase at your local home improvement store.

Make sure to check the seals around attic hatches, electrical outlets, and baseboards, too. You might also want to be sure that you look into potential leaks of air around vents, on your roof outdoors, or near dryer outlets.

5. Spend Less Time in the Shower If You Want to Keep Your Energy Bill Down

Taking a hot shower is still an option, but be sure that you are not wasting unnecessary time in the shower each day. It costs a lot of money to heat water, and the longer you are standing under hot water, the more time it will take for your hot water heater to prepare a new batch of hot water for your use.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for less than five minutes in the shower. A standard showerhead offers a water flow of 2.2 gallons per minute. If you stick to the five-minute rule, you will save an average amount of power in each shower that is enough to power a 60-watt light bulb for eight hours!

6. Lower the Temperature of Your Water Heater to Save on Your Winter Energy Bill

Another option that you can use to control your energy use when heating water is to reduce the temperature setting for your water heater. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for their hottest setting. If your water is too hot it can cause scalding and burning, so you’ll want to lower your water heater’s temperature during the winter season.

Changing your hot water heater to a lower temperature in the summer can be a great way to save money related to hot water use. The recommended setting is 120 degrees during the winter season but do not set the temperature any lower than that. Water that’s not hot enough can be dangerous because bacteria and other contaminants can breed in water at lower temperatures.

Reduce your Winter Power Bill

7. Check the Insulation on Your Water Pipes to Reduce Your Winter Power Bill

Your water pipes need to be insulated, as does your water tank. You can wrap the tank and the pipes that are exposed with various kinds of products to keep the piping and the water tank from freezing. This process can also make your water heater more efficient during the cold part of the year. Pool noodles are a great way to insulate piping that is exposed. All you have to do is split them in half and then wrap them around the piping that is exposed.

Using pool noodles to insulate exposed piping is an easy and cost-effective solution that can help you save money on your winter power bill. Keeping your hot water system safe and secure is important for your heating bill, and the longevity of your piping and the hot water heater itself.

8. Insulate Your Attic to Reduce the Cost of Your Energy Bill in the Winter

Insulation can reduce your heating, and cooling costs, and all of the parts of your home need to have proper insulation to lock in cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. You can have a professional check to verify that your attic is insulated properly.

EPB Energy ProsSM can come to your location and verify that your home is insulated properly, and they can check that your attic is not causing issues that are leading to increased energy costs.

Schedule a free EPB Home Energy CheckupSM with EPB Energy Pros and an energy professional will visit your home to help you understand what you can address in order to save money on your energy bill.

All of your insulation needs to have the right rating, or R-factor, for your zone of the US. There are also different levels of R-factor assigned to different parts of a home.

9. Reduce Pool Maintenance to Lower Your Winter Power Bill

Your pool can be a big cause for your energy bill spiking during certain times of the year. Many pool filters have a “winterize” setting that you can enable in the winter so that you can stop heating it. You don’t want to spend the money to heat a pool that you aren’t using, and you will find that it can be an extremely inefficient use of energy to try to keep a pool warm during the colder seasons.

10. Use Power-Saving Features to Reduce Power Consumption in the Winter

When devices offer a power-save function, you should use it. This might apply to appliances, devices, and other equipment in your home. This mode can reduce power consumption during all seasons of the year, but it is most beneficial to use this setting when the weather is cold out.

Check the devices and appliances in your home to see which of them have a power-save function and then take advantage of it.

11. Do Your Laundry Efficiently to Keep Your Winter Electricity Bill Down

You should wash as much of your laundry in cold water as possible to help save energy every month. Most of your clothing will not need to be washed any other way to get clean and you will also won’t have to worry about shrinking your favorite pants or shirts!

Keep your winter energy bill down

Always make sure that you run a full load of laundry each time you have clothing to clean as well. Running lots of small loads each week wastes far more water than running a big load as needed.

12. Upgrade Lighting to Cut Down on Winter Energy Bills

Replace all of the old lighting in your home with energy-efficient bulbs like LEDs. You will get brighter light when you choose these newer styles of bulbs, and they will cost a fraction of the amount that incandescent bulbs do each month to use. Best of all, newer light bulbs last for many years, which can also save you a lot of money each month.

13. Open the Curtains to Save Money on Energy Bills in Winter

Why not use natural light to light your home?

You can save a lot of money on energy every month by opening the curtains each day and letting the sun warm your home and replace artificial light that uses power. It can be easy to forget that the sun and daylight can be your friend, but pulling back the curtains can make a big difference in your energy usage.

14. Bundle Up to Lower Your Winter Power Bill

If it gets a little cold in your home on some days when there is snow or a winter storm going on, you can always put on more layers. Putting on a second sweatshirt or sitting under a blanket can be a great solution for the indoor temperature being a little less-than-ideal. Being able to avoid turning up the thermostat is easy when you pull out some warm clothing or a cozy blanket.

15. Close the Chimney Damper to Keep Home Warm in Winter and Cut Your Energy Bill Down

If you have a fireplace that you are using, you will want to close the damper down to prevent all the warm air from going up the chimney. This also keeps cold air from blowing back down into the house. Using a fireplace efficiently can make a big difference in your overall comfort each winter.

16. Using Power Strips Can Lower Your Bill in Winter

Plugging many devices into a power strip makes it more likely that you will remember to turn them all off when you are done with them. This can be a great way to keep all of the devices and appliances that you are not using from burning up energy while they are plugged in but not in use. You can make it simple to switch everything that is not in use off when you simply plug all of your devices into one location that provides easy access to a switch. Plugging in the lights in a room into one power strip, when possible, makes it easy to turn them all on and off at once.

Low your energy bill in winter season

17. Scale Back Holiday Lights to Lower Your Power Bill in Winter Season

While it can be tempting to have a lot of fun each year with your holiday lights and decorations, these items can cost you a lot of money and use a lot of power each day while they are in use. The shorter the timespan that you use your outdoor holiday lighting and the fewer lights that you decorate with, the lower your holiday power bill will be. You can also switch your lighting to LED lights to be even more energy-efficient.

18. Upgrade Old Appliances to Reduce the Cost of Winter Energy

If you have aging appliances in your home, you should consider upgrading them to newer models. The newer your appliances, the more energy-efficient they will be. It can cost some money to make this kind of upgrade, but your power bill will go down, and you will also gain access to lots of new and useful features like power-save settings.

If you want some guidance about which appliances are the most energy-efficient, you can use the Energy Star rating guide to help you make this decision. Energy Star rates appliances based on their consumed power and various other factors to help consumers to find the most energy-efficient appliances and devices for their homes and businesses.

Get Help Lowering Your Winter Energy Bill

If you need some help lowering your winter energy usage and creating a more energy-efficient home year-round, reach out to the EPB Energy Pros today! The team of energy experts at EPB will come to your home free of charge and do a complete home energy checkup.

This service is free for EPB customers. There is no cost to you, and you will learn how to maximize your energy usage while saving money on your winter energy bill.

Schedule your free EPB Home Energy Checkup from the EPB Energy Pros today!

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