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  • Writer's pictureRosetta Metz

How to Lower the Cost of Your Energy Bill this Winter

As we get deeper into the winter, you may find that you adjust to the rapidly-dropping temperatures and longer nights by turning up the heater and keeping your lights on for most of the day. However, this is far from energy-efficient and can be one of the reasons why your electric bills are so high in the winter. From changes in habit and quick fixes to complicated repairs and upgrades, Lettuce Organize shares some of the most effective ways you can adjust the total cost of your monthly energy bill this winter.

Free improvements to your energy bill

The first thing you can do to improve the amount of money you spend on your energy bill each month doesn’t cost anything. Pay attention to how often you leave lights on when you exit a room. If you have traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, a significant amount of energy is consumed while not even in the room.

Next, turn down your heater. Instead of solely relying on your heater to provide warmth in your home, bundle up with comfortable layers of clothing and an extra blanket or two. Often, a set of blankets can be even more insulating than simply warming the air in your home. Block the vents and close the doors to rooms you do not often use, such as the guest bedroom and office.

Low-cost improvements

The next set of improvements requires a low-to-average cost investment that will pay for itself after several months. Foremost among these is swapping out your old-style light bulbs for LEDs, which are much more energy-efficient and don’t waste a large percentage of their energy through heat.

Next, check the barriers between your doors, windows, and the exterior. If there are hairline gaps (or even larger cracks), you may be wasting a significant amount of energy each month. Seal these, and you won’t let the outside weather in or, more importantly, the inside heat out. You can also check the quality of your home’s insulation. Start in the attic -- overhead installation can keep your heat where it belongs and provides the most return in energy savings. If you have a built-in garage, make sure the ceiling there is insulated, too, to make the rooms above more comfortable year-round.

Larger investments

Lastly, there are several larger improvements that you can take on to really save money in the long run. First, you can install a new set of energy-efficient appliances. A large amount of energy is wasted each month through costly dishwashing and clothes washing, and drying cycles.

For an even bigger improvement project, you can look at fully replacing your HVAC system with a smart, energy-conscious system to see massive improvements in your bill right away. Of course, taking some time to educate yourself on how to keep your HVAC system (and your home’s other appliances) functioning will help you put off the need to replace it. New windows will also help, and even today’s base models are more efficient than windows manufactured just ten years ago.

Paying for these types of improvements can be a bit overwhelming. And while they will ultimately add value to your home, you still need to find the cash to make it happen. In this case, it might make sense to either refinance your home to reduce your mortgage payment or take out a home improvement loan. The former is likely the better scenario for ensuring you don’t add on more debt. And with the FHA streamline program, you can quickly refinance your mortgage for a lower rate, putting extra cashback in your pocket.

Whether you plan on spending a little or a lot, you can make a difference in your overall energy bill this year. Start by turning off your lights, then see the difference when you get your bill.

Author: Andy Hughes | Chief Ideas Officer | |
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