Winter Energy: Pointers for the Budget-conscious Homeowner

a sidewalk in the winter
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Many people consider winter to be their least favorite season, and for good reason. Sudden snowstorms are incredibly inconvenient, and everyday life grinds to a halt. We also have to contend with shorter days and colder weather. People with heating fare better, but if you can’t afford to keep yourself warm, your life might be in danger. Fuel poverty is such a serious problem that a third of all households struggle to meet their energy needs.

Rising energy costs mean that more and more people are at risk during the cold winter months. A recent Department of Energy report revealed that over 40 percent of the average energy bill goes to heating costs. But just because you find yourself struggling to make ends meet doesn’t mean you’re left with no choice. Thankfully, there are many ways to heat your home while keeping your energy costs down.

An energy management tool can help you save more energy, but stronger measures may be required. Here are a few energy hacks you use to can keep your home warm.

1. Change your habits

One reason why your bills keep on climbing is we fail to account for our habits. We would rather keep the thermostat on high than sacrifice our comfort and convenience. But small changes to our habits can translate to lower energy bills. For instance, adjusting the thermostat by five degrees can cut your energy bill by up to 10 percent. If that’s too cold for you, wear more layers to keep yourself warm.

2. Cover all windows with curtains

Older homes are often fitted with single-pane windows, which offer little protection from temperature fluctuations. That means heat can easily escape if you don’t find a way to plug the hole. One easy way to keep the heat from escaping is to cover your windows with curtains.

Curtains are a great way to keep your home at night. Leave your windows uncovered during the day to allow the sun into your home. You want to collect as much natural heat as you can during the day. If trees block your windows, you might want to trim the branches a few weeks before the onset of winter. Draw your curtains before it gets dark, and you’ll retain more heat at night. It also helps to use thick, multilayered fabrics for maximum effect.

an exhaust fan hanging near a window

3. Check the fans in your home

Many homes are fitted with exhaust fans, especially in high-moisture rooms such as the bathroom and the kitchen. Exhaust fans remove smoke and fumes from rooms and improve airflow.

For instance, switching the fan prevents fumes from accumulating in the kitchen and deters mold growth by removing moisture from surfaces. Wet bathroom surfaces also dry up faster thanks to the movement of air.

But since exhaust fans draw air out of your home, it can also lead to inefficiencies in the heating system. You’ll find it more difficult to heat spaces if the fans are running all the time. Only switch the fans on while you’re cooking or after using the bathroom. Once the surfaces have dried, turn them off immediately.

4. Invest in smart tech

Smart tech may cost some money initially, but you’ll save more money down the line if you use it consistently. Heaters require a lot of energy, which is why your power bills tend to rise during the winter months. Obviously, the less energy you use, the lower your bills will be. Unless you’re at home all day, you don’t need to keep the heater running 24/7. Make sure to shut your heating off before you go out.

A smart thermostat does the job of switching the heater on and off for you. There may be times when you forget to adjust the thermostat. Instead of relying on your memory, you can use smart tech to automate menial tasks that can be easily forgotten. You can even extract more savings by changing the temperature based on need and time of day.

A final word

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on heating to keep yourself warm. These things prove that there are many ways to keep your home warm without breaking the bank. Money issues sometimes force us to think of creative ways to achieve the same goals.

Covering your windows with curtains is a simple but effective solution to your heating issues, while smart tech utilizes the best of today’s technology to solve our problems. It also helps to plug any holes in the system to prevent further heat loss. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle to save more money.

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