10 Tips on How to Lower Your Electric Bill in Winter
Brrr — it’s finally arrived! Old Man Winter is just beginning to take a firm grip on the Midwest, and now is the time to make sure you’re fully prepared by ensuring that your home is buttoned up as tightly as your winter coat, and your heating system is in winter-ready condition. The pros at Herrmann Services have put together this checklist to help you save money by lowering your energy bills. See if you’ve got them all covered this winter.
Check for Drafts
It’s not too difficult at this time of year to find gaps around windows and doors where cold air is infiltrating and heat is escaping. Weatherstripping and caulk are your new best friends and a couple of hours on the weekend should be enough to take care of drafts from those obvious offenders!
Check Your Attic Insulation
You already know the basics. Heat rises and it’ll rise up to your attic and out through vents if your attic isn’t properly insulated. If there’s currently no insulation, make it a priority to get some, and make sure that it’s covering everywhere that heat could be escaping — including the hatchway door. (A piece of foam board can take care of that often-overlooked detail.)
How’s Your Furnace?
Have you had your furnace cleaned and inspected? If not, now’s the time! The professionals at Herrmann Services in Cincinnati can do a thorough inspection and cleaning, and perform any necessary repairs to make sure that your furnace is operating at its highest efficiency so you won’t waste a penny on fuel this winter. Don’t forget to change the filter every month!
Use the Sun
When the sun shines in, it brings a significant amount of heat with it. Take advantage of this free heat by opening the curtains or shades on south-facing windows on sunny days to collect as much free heat as you can. Just remember to close them when the sun goes down to keep that heat inside.
Run Your Ceiling Fan Clockwise
If you flip the switch on your ceiling fan, it will run in the opposite direction. In the winter, we want the fan to spin clockwise (when looking up at it) to push the warm air that rises to the ceiling back down to the living area where we can enjoy it. Set it on the lowest speed.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air. Moist air holds heat better so it feels warmer. This allows you to turn your thermostat down a few degrees without noticing a difference in comfort. Humidifiers also help to get rid of dry, itchy skin, chapped lips, bloody noses, and that annoying static shock.
Lower the Temperature on the Thermostat at Night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. You can set it to come back up an hour or so before you rise so your home is comfortable in the morning.
Only Heat Rooms You Use
Close the vents in rooms you rarely use. This directs the flow of air to the rooms you use most. Why heat rooms you’re not living in?
Switch to LED Lights
LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than older, incandescent lighting. If you haven’t switched, now is a great time because the price has come down considerably since they were first introduced. Switch your holiday lights too!
Use Exhaust Fans Sparingly
Exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen remove the hot air that rises to the ceiling. Only use exhaust fans when necessary and turn them off as soon as you are done with them.
Herrmann Services has been serving the Cincinnati area for more than four decades, so you can count on us to do a thorough job! We can even replace your equipment if your furnace has seen better days, and we offer convenient financing so you don’t have to sweat coming up with a pile of cash all at once.