10 Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills during Winter
During the winter months, long nights and bitterly cold temperatures can substantially increase your utility bills. However, there are some smart and straightforward ways to save money by increasing your household’s energy efficiency. Here are 10 easy ways to save money on utility bills during winter.
1. Dress in your warmest clothes while indoors. Although you may traditionally reserve your thickest sweaters and most effective thermal socks for trips to the store or walks with the dog, you can save money by wearing warm clothes when you’re relaxing at home. If your clothes are warmer, you’ll be less likely to turn up the heat. Snuggling up under a thick wool blanket is a useful alternative if you feel uncomfortably constricted by thick winter clothing.
2. Set strict rules about the heating. You’ll save a lot of money if you make sure that everyone in the household is aware that the heat must be turned down when the house is empty. You might also want to consider lowering the heat overnight and using thicker duvets and blankets to stay warm.
3. Protect your home from drafts. It’s likely that some of your windows are completely unused during the winter months, as it’s probably too cold to open them. Once you identify such windows (or similarly unused doors), insulate them by using plastic sheeting or old bedding. By keeping cold air out, you’ll reduce the cost of your heating bills.
4. Spend less time in the shower. If everyone in the house spends half their usual time in the shower, the cumulative impact on your utility bills can be substantial. Following this particular tip, you could save hundreds of gallons of hot water every month this winter.
5. Use hot water bottles. Making regular use of hot water bottles can also reduce your need for heating and thereby lower your utility bills. Hot water bottles usually cost very little and have a long lifespan. You can take them to bed so you won’t need any heat from radiators or heaters, and you can sit one on your lap when you’re paying bills, reading or watching television.
6. Invest in some good quality candles. Many people spend huge amounts of money on extra lighting during the winter months. You can cut your utility bills by replacing some of your lamps with large candles that burn for long periods. Browsing online shops will quickly reveal a wide range of inexpensive church-sized candles that typically burn for at least 40 hours.
7. Set strict rules about lighting. In addition to making sure that everyone in the family knows that the heat needs to be turned down when the house is vacant, tell everyone that it’s vital to switch off lights when leaving a room. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save by ensuring that you only turn on lights when you’re spending time in that particular room.
8. Use your oven as a temporary heater. You can cut some of your utility bills by taking advantage of a hot oven after cooking dinner. If you leave the oven door open after use, the oven will warm the kitchen and any adjacent rooms for an hour or so while it slowly loses heat.
9. Keep cold rooms closed. In most households, kitchens and bathrooms are colder than bedrooms and living rooms. To keep warm rooms cozy and reduce your utility bills, make sure you shut the doors to these chillier rooms.
10. Find and fill troublesome cracks. If you spend just an hour wandering around your home, you’ll surely find some small cracks in your walls, windows, doors and flooring. These cracks let heat out of your home and increase your heating bills; you’ll save a lot of money by devoting just one afternoon to using silicone to fill in these cracks.