In an effort to avoid the cold winter months many of us move indoors and turn up the heat. Unfortunately, as you raise the temperature you also raise the price you pay for utilities. How can you lower those electric bills while still staying cozy?
1. Install LEDs
You wouldn’t think a little light bulb would make such a big dent in your electric bill, but the truth is incandescent bulbs use a lot more electricity than LEDs. LEDs are extremely efficient, but they can also be quite expensive, so consider a slow roll out of new light bulbs rather than replacing each and every bulb all at the same time. Maybe your son turns on the light above his bed every night or the living room lamp behind the sofa is turned on every afternoon. To get the most bang for your buck replace the light bulbs that are used most often and change the rest at a later point in time. Home Depot has a wide range of LED light bulbs to fit every imaginable type of light fixture and lamp.
2. Install Weather Stripping
Weather stripping enables you to block out cold air by sealing the cracks around doors and windows. Stand near your door on a cold day and feel around for any spots where cold air seems to be leaking in. Once you locate the leaks install weather stripping to keep out those bitter drafts. Now is also a great time to install door sweeps. They will keep the hot air in and the cold air out.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to raise and lower the temperatures at certain times of day and on certain days of the week. Is your entire family at school or in the office from 9 to 5 most weekdays? Why heat your home if no one is there to feel it? A programmable thermostat will enable you to lower the temperature when you leave for work in the morning and raise it again before you return.
4. Fall in Love with Slow Cooking
Ovens require a lot of electricity to cook food. It often takes fifteen to twenty minutes to preheat an oven and another forty-five minutes to an hour to cook a meal. Your energy bills can rise quite quickly if you cook and bake every evening. Cut back on your electric bills by skipping the oven and turning to the crock-pot instead. Crock-pots are extremely efficient at heating food. You can dump a set of ingredients in the pot in the morning and set them to cook slowly until dinnertime.
5. Air-Dry Your Clothing
Do you have a place in your home where you can line dry your clothing or use a drying rack? In the winter time air lacks humidity, which means hanging clothes will dry in no time. Save money and electricity by skipping the dryer all together. Not only will you save electricity, but you’ll also extend the life of your clothes. Drying shrinks clothing, sets stains and breaks down fabrics and elastics. If you hang your clothes the fabrics will stay strong and the elastics stretchy.
You can find LED light bulbs, weather stripping, programmable thermostats, crock pots and drying racks at Home Depot. If you need to lower your electric bill this winter consider these easy home improvement ideas and tips.