Even in Georgia, winter temperatures can hit your heating bills hard, as you use more and more energy to keep your home comfortable. Luckily there are several things you can do to cut down on costs. Read on for some simple tips for cutting energy costs around your house.
Focus on the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace and don’t really use it, make sure you plug and seal the chimney flue. This will stop warm air from escaping out of the top of the fireplace, which can happen even if you have just a small opening. If you do enjoy using your traditional fireplace, keep the flue open until ashes have fully cooled off. For real savings, consider increasing fireplace efficiency with a heat circulating fireplace and chimney adapter system.
Saving Money With Your Water Heater
It is not uncommon for your water heater to account for one fourth of your energy costs. Energy experts recommend lowering the temperature of your water heater to no more than 120 degrees. Setting it any higher not only costs more, but increases the risk of scalding and promotes sediment buildup and corrosion in the heater’s tank.
For additional savings, insulate the tank and any exposed cold and hot water pipes to increase your savings by as much as 10 percent. Use the shortest cycle necessary on your dishwasher and washing machine, so that less water needs to be heated for these tasks.
Monitor Your Thermostat
You can save a lot of money simply by turning the heat in your home down by a few degrees while you are away during the day, so lower the dial before you leave for work. If you are a hot sleeper and often wake up too warm during the night, do this before you go to bed as well. Lowering the thermostat by 5 degrees during an 8 hour stretch of sleep or while your house is unoccupied can lead to a 15% savings on your energy bill. Open your window shades while the thermostat is lower, and take advantage of the natural heat provided by the sun streaming in each afternoon.
Taking the time to program your thermostat will make this easier than trying to remember to make the change each day, but lately many people are opting to have smart thermostats installed in their homes. This is great if your schedule is different from day to day, because you don’t have to stick to a preset schedule, and you can turn the temperature back up only when you know you are on your way home.
The key to winter energy savings is to keep your home comfortable enough for you to enjoy the winter season, while not wasting money on heating when it is not needed. With a few tweaks here and there you can keep your energy bills manageable even in the coldest part of the year!