Top Culprits of High Winter Energy Bills
Energy bills in wintertime are often substantially lower than they are during the heat of summer. There are reasons, though, why energy bills may not fall that much during the winter months, and many of these are fairly easy to control.
Many consumers use just as much electricity in the winter as they do in the summer. Although the air conditioner isn’t running non-stop, we use space heaters, electric blankets, and more hot water, which take up the slack in many households. We tend to use our ovens more in the cold weather months, especially around the holidays. Shorter days mean we spend more time at home and indoors, which translates into higher usage of lights, televisions, and other appliances.
Easy Ways to Lower Your Winter Energy Bills
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do, most with little to no cost, that can lower your winter energy bills.
Adjust Water Heater Settings
If your water heater is set higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy. Lower it to the recommended standard of 120F.
Many people are surprised at how much their electric bill drops when they replace an older large appliance like a refrigerator or range. For example, although the average lifespan of a refrigerator is 10-17 years, door seals often wear out after 7-8 years and the fridge has to run a lot more than before to keep contents cold. Motors and compressors also wear down over time. If you own an aging appliance, have it checked out by a professional technician. A $100 service call can pay for itself within just a few months in energy savings.
If the weatherstripping around your windows or doors is cracked or peeling, your home may be losing a lot of heat. Caulking drafty windows and installing new weatherstripping on exterior doors can help keep warm air in and cold air out, reducing how much your furnace runs.
Close the Chimney Damper
If you have a fireplace, keep the chimney damper closed any time there is no fire burning in the grate. Otherwise, cold air will seep continuously into your home.
Leaks in air ducts, dirty air filters, and blocked vents can cause your HVAC system to use more energy than necessary. Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your system efficient and preventing unnecessary breakdowns.
Old or Faulty Wiring
The most common indicators of old or faulty wiring are flickering lights (especially when you plug in something like a space heater or hair dryer) and a noticeable difference in how large appliances are operating. For your family’s safety, as well as your energy costs, have a professional electrician inspect your wiring to make sure everything is in good condition and up to code.
Keep the Garage Closed
Be as scrupulous about closing your garage door as you are about closing the other entry doors in your home. A cold garage affects the temperature of adjacent parts of the house, which forces your furnace to run more than it really needs to.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans lower electricity usage year-round. If you haven’t changed the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise for the winter months, doing so can help your home feel warmer by pushing warm air in the room downward.
Set a Thermostat Schedule
If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to lower automatically when your family is out of the house during the day or at night when everyone is sleeping. This will lead to more efficient energy usage and lower energy costs.
We Can Help!
Northern Climate Control will make sure your HVAC system is operating as efficiently as possible. Our skilled technicians provide fast, affordable inspection, maintenance, and repair services throughout the Denver Metro Area. Northern Climate Control offers top-quality Rheem gas furnaces, convenient financing, and the area’s best service crews. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help!