Posted by Andie on January 20, 2010
Winter is my least favorite season, mostly because I hate the cold. I might loathe it more than normal this year due to the fact that in an attempt to save money, my husband and I have been keeping our thermostat at a chilly 60 degrees. Neither one of us are hardly ever home, and so it just seemed like the practical thing to do. We're newlyweds. Enough said, right? After some research, I found that there are actually a lot of little things that we can do to keep our bills down, and to be nicer to the environment.
via Control Tech
1. Change Your Heating System's Filter
- Dirty filters waste a lot of energy because they make your heating system work a lot harder than normal to heat your home. In order to prevent that from happening, it's important to change your filters often, preferably once a month, especially in high-use times like winter.
2. Caulk and Weather Strip your windows and doors
- Take a walk through your house, and examine all of your doors and windows. Can you feel bursts of cold air, or see light shining through the cracks? Caulking and weather stripping those places will decrease your heating bill and help keep your home a lot warmer throughout the winter.
via RC Willey
3. Start using a Smart Thermostat
- One of the easiest ways to save money is to stop heating your house when nobody is home! By using a programmable thermostat, you can lower temperature settings when you aren't home during the day, and when you are asleep at night. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on your heating and cooling bill by turning your thermostat back 10-15% for 8 hours of the day.
4. Get a low flow shower head and take shorter showers
- The typical shower head uses between 5-8 gallons of water per minute, while low flow shower heads use about 2.5. Low flow shower heads used to mean less water pressure, which meant less satisfying showers. But now you don't have to sacrifice the quality of your shower because new technology has developed high pressure, inexpensive, low flow shower heads.
5. Wash only full loads in your Dishwasher and Washing Machine
-A top load washing machine uses about 40 gallons of water per load of laundry, and a front load machine uses 10-24 gallons. The average dishwasher uses approximately 4 gallons of water each time its run. The numbers speak for themselves. Waiting to run the dishwasher and washing machine until they are fully loaded will save a lot of water, and also a lot of money
6. Launder clothes in cold water
- About 90% of energy used by top-load washers is for heating the water. Newer, front load washers are more energy efficient, but it still saves in the long run to stick with the cold cycle.
7. Unplug Electronics
- Even if you aren't using them, when electronics are plugged in they are constantly using energy and costing you money. Making little changes like unplugging the iron, toaster, and phone charger will help a lot.
8. Switch out light bulbs
- If it's feasible, get rid of your high wattage light bulbs (75-100 Watts) and replace them with lower ones (30-60 Watts). This will decrease your energy usage dramatically. Consider replacing your Incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL's). They cost a bit more to purchase, but they end up saving you money in the long run since they use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than Incandescent bulbs.
9. Turn off the Lights and TV
- Get yourself into the habit of always turning off the lights when you leave a room. It might take a while to get used to, but practice will make perfect. You might want to consider getting motion detectors on lights in your kid's bedrooms so that they never accidentally get left on. Also, don't keep the TV on just for background noise... if no one is watching it, turn it off!