Tips to keep your Energy Bills under Control

In order to stay warm or cool and keep energy bills under control, common sense and effort are all that’s needed. Conserve energy. It has been proven that adjusting a thermostat up and down actually causes higher home heating costs in both summer and winter. Decide on a temperature and don’t touch. Most experts (like my gas company) recommend the thermostat be kept at 68F or 20C. I have a very old house and find that 70F or 21.11C works better for us. Don’t forget to change those filters and keep your vents vacuumed. The heated or cooled air will flow better and save energy. You may want to have your heat ducts professionally cleaned if it has never been done or it’s been quite a while. Keeping interior and exterior doors closed will help to cool each room. See how many fans you have on in your house. There is no sense in leaving a fan on in a bedroom all day when no one is there. You can turn it on about 10 minutes before you to bed and cool your room down nicely.

We gutted our house and insulated before moving in. There are less extreme ways to insulate a home. There is insulation that can be injected behind a wall, windows can be insulated with plastic sheeting or caulked where air comes in. Something as simple as cutting an old towel into strips and shoving the strips into spaces where cold air comes in around windows and wood work can be very beneficial. We take a large bath towel and put at the base of each door to keep out air. There is also weather stripping that can be purchased for doors and windows. It is inexpensive and easy to install. Use thermal lined drapes. They can make a huge difference in keeping in heat in the winter and keeping out heat in the summer. Make sure doors and windows are closing completely and properly. Close the vents in rooms that aren’t in use to redirect more heat to rooms that are in use. I close the vents in my kitchen when I will have the oven on for some time.

Can the temperature on your water heater be lowered a degree or two? Don’t forget to insulate basement pipes. There are easy to use,inexpensive products available.

To reduce electric bills, turn off lights and appliances when not in use. We started turning off our computers at night and saw a noticeable savings with no negative effects on the computers. All of the “instant on” televisions and appliances use electricity even when turned off. Can you wait an extra minute in the morning to turn on your set(s)?

Take a few minutes and walk room by room around your house and assess your energy usage and waste. Be honest. Tell your family members to put a sweater or sweat shirt on and wear slippers. We’re supposed to wear more clothes when it’s cold.