Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ways to Save this Winter!

Here are some ways to save money on your utility bill this winter:

1.  Hang dry your clothes on your shower curtain rod.  This also helps with humidity in your home.
2.  Route your dryer vent into your house.
3.  Open our oven after cooking.
4.  Open your blinds and drapes during the day to let the sun shine in, then close them at night to help keep the heat in your home.
5.  Turn the blades on your fan the opposite direction to help spread the warm air throughout your home.
6.  Keep the damper closed on your fireplace.
7.  Clean and replace the filter on your furnace once a month.
8.  Move chairs and beds away from exterior walls; these are usually the coldest walls in the house, and make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
9.  Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees.  Put on extra layers of clothes if you are cold.
10.  Opt for crock pot meals such as soups and stews at least once a week. You'll save energy costs by cooking everything in one pot ... and you'll keep warm while consuming them.
11.  Cook 'double batches' when preparing random meals ... and save the second batch for another night ... or exchange with a friend. Purchasing increased quantities is usually more cost effective ... and cooking both at once is also energy efficient.
12.  You may not think of saving water as a way to save money in the winter, but it is. When the weather gets cold, one refreshing way to warm up is get in a hot shower. But, as you know, a hot shower can take quite a bit of time to heat up.
13.  Let your dish washer air dry (just open the door) instead of dry on the heated cycle.
14.  Check the seals on your refrigerator. Refrigerator and freezer doors should seal tightly. If they do not, they are leaking cold air into your home.  Loose seals cause your unit to work harder and use more energy. If you can move a dollar bill through the closed door, the seal is not tight enough. Get the seals replaced or replace the unit if it is an older model.
15.  Use a humidifier. Humidity makes you feel warmer in colder months. With the proper humidity level, you’ll be able to turn your thermostat down to a lower temperature, save energy and still feel comfortable. About 20 percent to 40 percent relative humidity is recommended.
16.  Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs.
17.  Turn off lights. Turn off lights when not in use, even for short periods of time.
18.  Insulate around windows and doors. Weather-strip and/or caulk all areas of noticeable leaks around windows and doors. Removable caulking is a good option for windows that you open in summer but not in winter.
19.  Use the fireplace sparingly. Many older natural fireplaces are inefficient and draw more heat out of the house than they produce. Close the flue to eliminate drafts when not in use.
20.  Don’t let the computer run all day. Only power on the computer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you need them. Don’t leave them on after you’re finished working. Computers and other office equipment still use energy in sleep mode.
21.  Ensure your vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture, or that you don’t have any large objects in front of your radiator. This allows the air to circulate freely and you to get the full benefit of the warm air and put less strain on your furnace. This is also safer!
22.  Shut the doors. If the room is not used, why heat it? Shut the doors and close the vent when you are not in the room. When you are in the room, shutting the door can increase the room’s temperature by keeping in your body heat and the heat produced by lights or other electronics such as a computer.
23.  Buy a low-flow shower head. A water-efficient shower head (often less than $20) can use 25% to 50% less hot water.
24.  Get a digital, programmable thermostat.
25.  Use flannel sheets and extra blankets at night time so you can lower the thermometer to 60-62 degrees.

Some of these ideas were taken from the following sources:
Bloggin Away Debt
My Two Dollars
Ways to Save Money
The Daily Green

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