save on energy

19 Cheap Ways to Save Money on your Energy Bill this Winter

As we hunker down for the cooler months, many homeowners are dreading the arrival of Jack Frost. This winter promises to be especially cold so here are a few ways to keep your energy bill from spiraling out of control for a more sustainable energy consumption.

If you want to spend money on making your home more energy efficient, the first step will be to plug those holes. Every home has gaps, cracks and holes through which your warm indoor air leaks. You can find where your gaps are by conducting a home energy audit. If you don’t want to spend money on an energy audit, do it yourself with a step-by-step guide which you can find here.

  1. Start by caulking any gaps in your building envelope that you discovered with your home energy audit. Pay particular attention to areas around doors and windows, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures.
  2. Check the rubber seals around your doors and windows. If seals are cracked or old, they could be letting cold air in. Get a full tutorial for replacing seals here.
  3. You can save 13-14% of your energy bill by installing blinds and 15-17% with curtains which you can close to prevent heat loss at night. Make sure you open them in the morning so the sunshine can warm your home.
  4. Switch the rotation of your ceiling fan so it’s moving in a clockwise direction. This helps to push warm air down into the living space.
  5. Now is the time for your annual HVAC service. You can do it yourself by following our simple guide.
  6. Change the HVAC filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to improve efficiency as well as the quality of your indoor air.
  7. Vacuum the coils at the back of your fridge once a year to keep it working optimally.
  8. If you have radiators, bleed them before winter to reduce the number of air bubbles which will lower energy usage. Get a guide on how to bleed your radiators here.
  9. Over time, sediment builds up in your water heater and makes it less efficient. Get a step-by-step guide here on how to remove the sediment for a more efficient water heater that lasts longer.
  10. Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket to keep heat in.
  11. Use power bars with timers for appliances which don’t need to stay on. Appliances in standby mode account for 10-15% of your monthly energy bill.
  12. Keep your fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use. If you aren’t going to use your fireplace this winter, get a chimney balloon to reduce the loss of conditioned indoor air.
  13. Opt for a smart thermostat which will turn down the heat when you are asleep or away at work.
  14. Your water heater accounts for about 18% of your bill. Turn down the temperature to 49° C for added savings.
  15. Switch your incandescent lights for LEDs and place lights on dimmer switches. Insulate behind light switch places.
  16. Insulate water pipes to prevent heat loss and bust pipes. This is especially important for pipes that lead outdoors.
  17. Drain your hoses and pop them in the garage or basement so they don’t crack and break over the colder months.
  18. Clean your gutters. I know this is a drag, but it may help to save your roof. In the winter, snow melt must have somewhere to drain or the water collects on your roof. When temperatures drop overnight, the water will freeze and expand to form ice dams which press up under the shingles and cause leaks. If you have badly clogged gutters, trim a plastic spatula to fit in the gutter and use it to dig out debris.
  19. Trim your trees. Deadwood will break under the weight of snow and in high winds and can cause damage.

About

Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives with her husband and a very bad dog.

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