1. Turn your water heater down!
Many water heaters are set at scalding 140° F (60° C) by their manufacturer–while most households only need to be set a respectable 120°. Turning your water heater down these twenty or so degrees can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Just make sure that your appliances, like your dishwasher, can handle these lower temperatures (and increased savings)!
2. Turn down the thermostat!
We’ve all heard this one: want to save money (and energy) in the winter time? Then turn down the thermostat! It might sound clichéd but it really does work. Setting your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature, and making up the difference with layers of clothes or blankets, will ramp up the savings quick.
3. Caulk, caulk, and more caulk!
Feeling a draft? Even a small one? Even if not, it might be a good idea to check your windows and seal them with Caulk! Air leaks can cost you countless dollars a year as you raise your thermostat to compensate. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to cut costs (and save energy) that there is.
4. Look south! There be savings!
@unsplash/ Elijah Hail
Keeping the shades of your south facing windows open during the daytime hours lets more sunlight to enter and warm your home–keeping it nice and warm. While closing them at night helps further insulate your windows and reduces the nighttime chills that makes you want to crank up the heat.
A well placed tree or shrubbery can provide shade in the summer or act as a windbreak in the howling winters. Research suggests that these sorts of measures can affect the temperature of your home as much as 3-6° which translates into better comfort and savings for you!
6. Insulate your water-heater, it gets cold too!
Another easy measure you can do yourself, insulating your water heater can help it retain its heat for longer and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your water at the desired 120°. Check with your local water utility to see if they offer cheap insulated blankets if so then it’s only a matter of turning off your heater and taping the blanket into place. Don’t just use any old blanket though, and if you’re using an electric water heater DO NOT use insulation if your heater is set to 140° F or higher, as it will damage the heater itself.
For more information on energy-effecient homes check out EnergySaver.gov