There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being cold, so we use heating products during the winter to keep us warm and comfortable. You may have noticed that your electricity bill skyrockets during the cold weather. We all like to save a few bucks when and where we can and in the winter months we focus on electrical bills. Below we’ve rounded up some helpful tips based on our years of experience as licensed electricians, and as homeowners.
- During the winter months, say late October/early November to mid-March, set your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. This can save you about 3% on your heating costs for every degree you reduce the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Winterize windows and glass doors on the exterior side with weather stripping (for all moveable joints) and caulk (for non-moving parts).
- For window interiors, install a window kit to the inside of your windows to help keep cold air out and warm air in. Window insulation kits are usually available at your local hardware store or big box store with a home improvement section. They're reasonably easy to apply around your window or sliding glass doors – all you need is the kit and a hair dryer to seal the plastic.
- Unplug small home appliances (blender, toaster oven) and things like your computer, TV, and electric toothbrush when you’re not using them. Or else you can get a power switch that plugs into a wall outlet, allowing for the convenience of turning off a bunch of them at once. It also is a lot less annoying than unplugging and re-plugging each one individually.
- Change your furnace filter as well as any related HVAC filters at least once a month, if possible. You can save money and increase the comfort level in your home with a well-maintained heating system.
- When you cozy up to a crackling fire on a cold winter day, you may be losing more heat than you are generating if your fireplace is not airtight. An easy first step is to install a pair of airtight fireplace doors. This is sort of a more medium to advanced DIY adventure so you might want to think about having a professional do the installation.
- Inspect ductwork for any air leakage. If you do feel air leaking at joints, use silver metal duct tape to seal them. You could save up to 10% of your heating costs by eliminating even the smallest leaks.
Special advice for heat pump owners: Heat pumps need to stay at a constant setting (check the owner's manual for the proper temperature to set it at) unless you have a programmable electronic heat pump thermostat with adaptive recovery. Check with your heating or air conditioning contractor to determine the type of thermostat you have.