Guest post by Jane Blanchard
With talks of an inevitable polar vortex this coming winter, homeowners are trying every trick in the book to reduce electrical costs. Electricity is downright expensive when temperatures dip low, both day and night. Make a promise to yourself that's easy to keep by saving money with these surefire conservation tips.
1. Grab a Blanket
If you want to save about 10 percent on your electricity bill each year, turn the heat down at least 10 degrees for an 8-hour period, states Duke Energy. This period could occur during the day when everyone is away or overnight when cuddled into bed. If the family bundles up with basic sweaters and slacks during the day, a 10-degree difference really isn't uncomfortable compared to the outdoor temperatures.
2. Dirt is a Barrier
The heater may be a tried-and-true appliance, but it can't work for 3 months straight without the filter being changed or cleaned. All central air heaters use a removable filter to stop particulates from infiltrating the internal parts. Over time, the filter clogs up with the particulates, blocking air from moving through the system and racking up the electrical charges.
The amount of warm air lost through door and window gaps is astounding. Before winter really hits hard, walk around the entire home and evaluate all openings. Add weatherstripping to any doors and windows with an obvious draft. This lost energy is a huge chunk of the electricity bill.
4. Turn on a Fan? Yep!
It's not crazy to turn on a ceiling fan during the winter because it actually pulls warm air trapped at the ceiling and down to people below. Set the fan to a clockwise direction to see the warm effects.
5. Avoid the Peaks
According to USA Today, running a heater during peak hours can cost up to 60 percent more than if you waited until off-peak hours. Although the heater may be on almost nonstop, try using the washing machine and other high-energy appliances on the weekends or holidays to avoid peak times.
6. Got an Attic?
Head up to the attic and find all the warm air escaping through crevices. Save considerable energy by simply rolling out insulation across the roof's interior surfaces. The heater won't have to work as hard as before.
7. Maintenance Saves
Make friends with the local HVAC professional to have a twice yearly check of your furnace system. A well-maintained system uses electricity sparingly even when it's several years old.
8. All the Lights are On
Dark winter nights call for more lights on so replace them with CFLs or compact fluorescent lights. You'll still have ample illumination, but without the high cost of other light bulb technologies.
For more home ideas check out Modernize.