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Three Tips to Save on Utilities This Winter

How to Save on Utilities?

Winter isn’t too far away, and with a new season comes new threats to your bank account in the form of expensive utilities, especially as a rental property owner. 

While you won’t spend as much money on air conditioning as you do in the summer, you’ll end up replacing those costs with heating – which can be just as expensive. Plus, people tend to spend more time indoors during the winter, including your renters, which further increases the cost of electricity for your home. 

Here are a few energy-saving tips you can share with your tenants to help you save on utilities this winter, or them, depending on who covers what.

Article at a Glance:

Summers are not the only expensive months when it comes to utilities. Following some energy-saving tips, you can help to save this winter. Some popular options include:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electronics
  • Open your blinds
  • Lower your thermostat
  • Don’t close doors
  • Keep the air circulating
  • Get an energy audit
  • Use space heaters
  • Get a smart thermostat

Energy Saving Tips

With the turn of the season, you can anticipate a hike in your energy bills. Thankfully, here are a few tips to help cut some costs.

Turn Off Unnecessary Lights

One of the more common ways to help with your energy consumption is by making sure to turn off any unnecessary lights throughout your home. You can save $15 over a year by turning off two 100-watt incandescent light bulbs for an extra two hours per day. If you’re looking for even further savings, consider switching out as many bulbs, if not all, in your home for LED alternatives.

Unplug Unused Electronics

Another quick and easy solution to help you save some money this winter is to unplug unused electronics. Similarly to turning off unnecessary lights, this can help save money over time. Many homeowners, and renters, are not aware, but standby power can account for up to 10% of your home’s annual electricity use. You can save $50 per year unplugging unused electronics.

Open Your Blinds

One way to help heat your home naturally is to take advantage of Mother Nature. On sunny days, open your blinds and curtains. Let the sun’s rays come into your home. You’ll help warm your home for free if you take advantage of natural heating. 

Lower Your Thermostat 

No one likes to hear it, but lowering your thermostat in the winter can save you a good amount of money on your heating bill. According to the Department of Energy, lowering your temperature by 10-15 degrees for eight hours can save 5% to 15% on your bill – which equals hundreds per year, not just in the wintertime. 

If you have a programmable thermostat, the savings can be more easily obtained because you can program the temperature at a certain level for certain times of the day. 

Don’t Close Doors

Contrary to what you may have heard, closing your doors can increase your utility bills by making it more difficult for air to flow through the house – which eventually pulls in outside air. Keep your doors open if you can, or see if you can install transfer grills in your entries.

Keep the Air Circulating

While everyone knows that fans are a great addition to help keep you cool in the summer, not everyone knows that you can also use them to help keep you warm in winter. Typically, a ceiling fan rotates counterclockwise, which pushes air down and creates a chilling effect.

Most ceiling fans, though, have a reverse switch that will move the rotation clockwise. This opposite direction of airflow produces an updraft helping to push warm air that tends to stay closer to your ceiling. You can also use ceiling fans to transfer heat that radiates from your heating source throughout the room, much like they do in the summer with air conditioning.

Get an Energy Audit

Today, many cities across the country offer energy audits for free or at a minimal cost. If your city provides this service, you should be sure to take advantage of it right away. An energy audit will help to identify areas around your home that you might have potential saving opportunities. You can also try chatting with your local utility provider to see if they have tips and tricks that are more specific to your local area.

Use Space Heaters

If you tend to stay in one area for most of the time in your home, space heaters can be a great alternative to heating your entire home. Electric space heaters are a much more efficient way to heat a small area of your home because no heat is lost in the process through combustion or ducting.

Consider using space heaters for closed-off areas of your home, such as a bathroom or garage. If you need to heat your entire home, make sure to utilize your natural gas furnace or heat pump heating option and save the space heater for another day.

Get a Smart Thermostat

These days you can get smart just about anything around your home. Not surprisingly, a thermostat is on the list of smart items to help improve your home. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-enabled devices that will automatically adjust your home’s temperature to help maximize your energy efficiency.

Essentially, smart thermostats will begin learning your habits and design a schedule that will adjust accordingly. Best of all, this schedule will have energy-saving temperatures in lull times, such as while you are sleeping or not in the home.

It’s important to note that some state and county governments also want to help incentivize homeowners to move towards smart thermostats and offer rebates. If you consider changing over to a smart thermostat, you’ll want to check to see what additional savings you might be eligible for.

Wrap Up

Energy-saving tips don’t always have to be complicated or expensive changes to your home. With the help of this list, you can make some slight changes or advise your renters to do so to help make your winter utility bill a little bit more affordable this year.