This winter has been a brutal one with heavy snow and bone-chilling temperatures. Considering we’re only about half way done with winter, there’s still likely much more cold headed our way.
If you’re looking for ways to save, one of the easiest ways is to look around the house to find places where your home is leaking money. Consider these areas:
Sealing door cracks.
A lot of cold air seeps in under door cracks. This can be easily remedied by attaching a strip to the bottom of your door that keeps the cold out. Another alternative is to simply stuff a tube of fabric and put it in front of the door crack. This, too, will keep out the drafts though it’s not a permanent solution like attaching a strip to keep out the cold.
Caulk cracks around windows and doors.
When a house ages, you’ll find little cracks and crevices that let in cold. Simply caulk these to stop the bleeding of heat. We had a few days where the air temperature was -15 degrees F. On those days, I noticed a crack in the wood around our window that was letting in a lot of cold!
Put plastic over your windows.
This look is not aesthetically pleasing, but if you put up the plastic carefully and tightly, you’ll likely be able to see clearly out of it. This can save you a surprising amount of money on your heating bill.
Install an adjustable thermostat.
If you don’t already have one, consider installing an adjustable thermostat. You can keep the heat low while you’re at work and when you sleep at night. Then, an hour before you wake up, you can have the temperature increase so you’re not freezing first thing in the morning. Of course, you can also do this manually, but you won’t have the advantage of having the house warmer for you when you wake up in the morning.
Fix leaky faucets.
If you have a faucet that drips, you may not think it’s wasting that much. However, over the course of the week or a month, you’re wasting hundreds of gallons of water and paying for it all. Take the time to fix the faucet, and you’ll immediately see a drop in your water bill.
Reduce the flow of water from your toilet.
If you don’t have a low-flush toilet, you can make your toilet a mock low-flush toilet. Fill a 1/2 gallon plastic milk jug or other container full of water and screw the lid on. Put it in your toilet tank, and from every flush from thereafter, you’ll use less water.
Install a low flow shower head.
Buy a low flow shower head and install it. Immediately, you’ll save on water and likely pay for the price of the shower head in a month or less.
Clean filters and coils regularly.
Once a month, clean the filters on your heater and around the coils behind or under your refrigerator. This will help them run more efficiently, meaning they’ll use less energy.
Check the seal around your refrigerator and freezer doors.
Over time, this seal can get loose. If the seal is no longer folded tightly, it’s time to replace the seal with a new one. Doing so will keep cold air in and save you money.
As you make these changes and notice a drop in your electric and water bills, save the difference. If you’re heating bill used to be $350 every month and now it’s $275, save the extra $75 a month difference. Eventually, you’ll have enough money to replace other energy sucks like an old refrigerator or an old dishwasher that is using too much energy and water. Then your savings will continue to grow.
These simple tricks can all be completed in less than a day, but they’ll save you a substantial amount of money month after month.
What other tips do you have to conserve energy around the house?
These are all good things Melissa! We just fixed our faucets because the leaking was really bad and I’m sure our water bill for this month will increase because of that.
I am always amazed when I go to people’s homes and they are under dressed for being inside during a Canadian winter. When I am met at the door by people wearing t-shirts instead of sweaters I know they have their thermostat set too high.
Slippers for every member of the family and layering on top can add up to big savings every winter.
We don’t get to control the heat in NYC apartments so I have lots of blankets, including an electric one, which hopefully doesn’t use too much energy.
Thanks for the tips, lots of good and easy things in there!
Another one I use is to air dry our laundry rather than use the dryer – I’ve noticed a significant savings on our monthly utility bill once I started to do that
I just sealed my room better but it was mostly to keep it cool, save on the occasional AC and prevent bugs from entering. We are planning on installing motion lights in the garden as the lights are quite expensive. We put a few solar lamps too which give it a nice look and save on electricity.
We are renovating the house right now and we are doing a lot of things on our own, we have friends coming from time to time to help a little so we “pay” in food and beer 😉 But seriously, I can’t even imagine how much money we saved this way. With full time job, studies and other commitments it takes more time, that’s for sure but I still believe it makes sense. And it gives a big satisfaction as well 🙂