When the temperature drops, you may see your electric bill rise. Fortunately, everyone can perform some pretty simple actions to save on their home energy costs in the winter. In this post, we’ll guide you through a few ways you can spend less on wintertime electricity—and have more cash in your pocket for hot chocolate.
Make saving automatic
Since we’re living in the age of the smart home, it’s smart to maximize the tools available to you to save on electricity costs when the weather turns cold. And because a home’s heating system is its biggest energy user, that’s a great place to start.
We recommend programming your thermostat, or installing a programmable one, to cut down your winter home heating costs. For example, you don’t need to have the temperature inside your home kept at 72˚ during the day while your family is at work or school. Telling your thermostat to hold the temperature at 65˚ for those several hours instead will help save on heating costs. You can also apply this method to the overnight hours (such as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), as you’ll be asleep and cozy in bed then anyway.
If you work from home or don’t have a programmable thermostat, simply lowering your home’s temperature to between 68˚ and 70˚ while it’s occupied will do. Think that’s too cold? Each degree above 68˚ requires an additional three percent of heating energy, so you could save as much as 12 percent on your heating bill just by lowering your home’s temperature from 72˚ to 68˚ in the winter. Throw on an extra layer or don your favorite blanket, and let the savings pile up like logs on a fire.
Look at your lighting
We all know that during the winter it feels like it’s dark all the time. The shorter days bring with them more time for the lights to be on, so making sure those lights are as effective and efficient as possible can also bring down your BGE bill.
The most straightforward way to reduce your home’s lighting cost is to switch out any incandescent bulbs or fixtures for modern, energy-efficient LED light sources. And did you know that you can usually make this swap for free (or close to it)?
Current LED technology has also made the worries of LEDs casting a harsh “blue” light a thing of the past. Most LEDs now give off a nice warm glow, and can be used with adjustable dimmer switches. It’s a win-win: You can still get that perfect cozy indoor ambiance while saving on electricity.
A few fast—and free—tips
Forget about buying a new thermostat or shelling out for new lightbulbs for your entire house. We wanted to round out this post by sharing several no-cost energy-saving tips that just about anyone can implement to help reduce their electric bill in the winter.
- Harness the power of the sun! Open the curtains during the day to let sunlight and warmth inside. At night, close the shades to help keep heat in.
- If you have a garage or fireplace, keep the respective door closed in the winter so that chilly air can’t infiltrate the interior of your house.
- Close heating ducts or vents in unused rooms, and keep doors to those rooms closed. Conversely, make sure that drapes, plants or furniture aren’t in the way of vents in rooms that are regularly occupied.
- In the winter, vapors from bathing and cooking help humidify the home, so use exhaust fans sparingly when it’s cold out to help your home retain as much heat as possible.
- If you have boots, gloves or other winter gear that gets wet from snow, placing it in front of a refrigerator or freezer that exhausts warm air can dry it out without having to use the energy required for a clothes dryer cycle.
Looking for even more ways to save? Explore the numerous resources from BGE to make your home more energy-efficient throughout the year.
To take your home’s energy efficiency to the next level, contact our friendly experts at Milton Electric for a professional analysis of your home’s energy usage. Our experienced team can also help with energy-saving jobs of any size. From installing LED lighting and fluorescent ballast replacement, to occupancy sensors, wiring upgrades and more, you can count on us. Click here to request a quote or call 410-505-7681 today!