You have long recognized that your winter utility bills are significantly more than your spring or fall bills since 49% of energy is consumed by heating and cooling your home. If you are like most energy consumers, you want those bills to be less. Pronto Power, your Austin electric company, likewise wishes for all its consumers to use less energy. To that end, we present 5 energy-saving ideas to heat your home more effectively during Texas’s cold winters.
Weatherstripping your doors and windows can save up to 10% on your utility bill. This easy fix is usually economical and, with so many forms of weatherstripping available, one will inevitably fit your needs.
Another money-saving idea to insulate your windows is rolled window insulation. Using scissors and a hair dryer, you can easily cover your windows with a clear layer of sturdy insulation.
Adding a layer of insulation to your attic – or adding additional layers of insulation to your attic – can save 15% on your heating bill this winter. Whether you choose spray-on or standard rolled insulation, the savings can be significant.
Turn it down
Typical water heaters are set at 140°, but most can easily segue to 120° with no noticeable difference. Heating water consumes a lot of energy, and diminishing your temperature by 20° keeps your electric bill lower. As a bonus, the water coming out of the faucets is no longer a scalding temperature in case you have small children or elderly adults in your home.
Lowering your thermostat can also sharply reduce your winter electric bill. The difference between 68° and 70° is imperceptible to most people and will reduce your heating costs by approximately 5%.
The vent fan in your bathroom pulls warm air out of the room; turn it off whenever possible. If you have a heating lamp in the bathroom, use it to heat that small area more efficiently, but not simultaneously with the vent fan since it pulls all the warm air from the room. Turn off the heating lamp when you leave the bathroom.
Turn it up
Your ceiling fan warms the air as it circulates. However, the air only affects you, which means fans should be turned off when you leave the room. During winter, be sure your ceiling fan spins clockwise to force the warm air into the room. Using a ceiling fan reduces your heating bill, so turn it on!
As you sleep under an electric blanket, consider cranking it up a notch rather than turning up the heat.
Upgrade or service your HVAC system
Contact your service technician to winterize your system. As the technician runs through all the components of your heating system, they can determine if any parts need replacing. Replacing them before the cold air rushes in will save energy, since a proper system is more energy efficient than one limping along on its last legs.
The technician will probably check all your filters as well. Even if your entire system has not been serviced, it makes good sense to check or replace air filters.
With a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature when you are in the room versus when you are out of the home. A smart thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature and set it. If you sleep with the temperature 5° cooler than during the day, a smart thermostat will begin lowering the temperature every day at the same time in preparation for your slumber. When you leave for work, the smart thermostat can be set at a lower temperature, then it can be set to raise the temperature half an hour or so before you return home.
Some brands with the ability to be paired with a smartphone can be programmed to your preferred temperature. When your phone is at home, your home is at that temperature. When you leave, the temperature drops.
Austin electric company Pronto Power wants to ensure our customers use energy efficiently. For more energy-saving tips, visit our website or call 888-400-6632.
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