Energy Savings Guide: Winter Edition

November 16, 2018

Feet in socks by a fireplace
Winter in Texas is here and every year when the temps drop the heat gets turned on quickly inside. It’s easy to see a higher electricity bill if you’re not aware of tips and tricks to use in your favor. See below for ideas you may have forgotten about that help save on your winter electricity bill.

1. Get an energy audit.

Start by knowing where your home is inefficient. Make sure the audit is performed by a professional who uses tools designed to find areas in your home that leak the most air. Need more reasons why an energy audit will benefit you? Read this list of 17 of them.

2. Reverse your ceiling fans.

We know they help cool our home but also remember that you can change the direction the blades turn (usually by a switch on the base) to help trap heat inside your room. Make sure they’re rotating clockwise to get the heating benefit.

3. Adjust your thermostat at night.

Turn down the temperature by 7-10 degrees for eight hours and save roughly 10% per year on your electricity bill.

4. Heat the rooms you use, not ones you don’t.

Think about the rooms that aren’t occupied and then close the vents and shut the doors to them.

5. Seal the air leaks.

Check the weather stripping on your doors and windows. It’s an easy and inexpensive DIY fix that will allow you to see a return on your investment in one year or less in most cases.

6. Install low-e storm windows.

Instead of replacing your windows, consider the less costly option of adding low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows. You’ll see the same amount of savings as you would if you replaced the window. According to the Department of Energy, you could see savings of 12-33% on your electricity bill. Best of all, you don’t need to pay anyone to do this. DIY it and save yourself some money.

7. Use LED holiday lights.

LEDs use about 50% less electricity than traditional bulbs. They also last a lot longer than incandescent lighting. Stringing them outside for decorating is a great idea since they love the cold weather. LEDs actually get brighter as the temperatures get lower.

8. Use exhaust fans sparingly.

Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans pull hot air out of your home. Be sure to only use these fans when needed during the winter months.

9. Check your water heater.

Water heating costs are the second largest energy expense in the home. They come in second next to cooling and heating by accounting for about 18% of your bill. Start by lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. For every 10 degree reduction you could save 3-5% on the heating cost. Keep in mind that if you have a gas water heater, you’ll see the changes on your gas bill, not your electric bill.

If it’s been awhile (or never) since you’ve made use of these tips, implement them and then watch your electricity bill to see how much of a difference your efforts make. Snuggle up on the couch with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa this winter and feel good about staying on top of your energy efficiency and your bill.

View all these tips here in an easy-to-read guide.

Power of Texas offers electricity plans in deregulated areas throughout Texas. See rates available in your area.

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