Is your house leaking money? It’s really cold outside, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a chilly draft finding it’s way to your hands and feet. That’s actually a bad sign that money from wasted electricity is leaking out of your home. Here are some tips for saving electricity during a cold snap:
Saving Electricity When It’s Cold Outside
- Towels and blankets: Something as simple as a towel pushed up against door cracks and windows can help keep your heat where it belongs: inside.
- Energy-saving light bulbs: LED light bulbs can save up to 80% per year over other types of bulbs, and they are available at big box stores such as Lowe’s and online at retailers like Amazon.
- If you are using a space heater, close the door to the room where you are using it and keep that heat in!
- NOTE: Space heater + high ceilings = waste of energy. Dress warm and grab a blanket instead. My personal favorite? A down throw blanket. There’s something about down that just toasts you right up, no electricity necessary.
- Close your curtains and blinds to help keep heat in at night. Open them during the day to let natural light from the sun warm your home.
- Turn off all non-essential lighting and appliances. These are the number one culprits of Phantom Load.
- Remind your children to turn off their lights and close their doors when they leave the room. Make it a team effort.
- Programmable thermostats – these are always a good investment, in all seasons. For the technophiles among us, “smart” or “learning” thermostats can pay off over time with remote management and “set it and forget it” functionality.
- Clear all the registers in your home of furniture or other blockages so they can flow freely.
- Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when you are NOT using it. (Conversely, make sure it’s open when you are. Safety first!)
And please, be neighborly. Check on your elderly or disabled neighbors and make sure they have what they need to stay warm and healthy during this stretch of icy weather. Help them with saving electricity by letting them borrow a space heater, help them find the drafts in their homes and cover them, and lend a hand in other ways. You may also consider donating to Oregon HEAT, an energy assistance program for low-income Oregonians.
Saving electricity keeps more of your money where it belongs: your warm, toasty pocket.