6 Energy Saving Tips for Winter

Winter is coming, and in Rhode Island, that always means plenty of snow and cold. It also means your heater will be working overtime to keep your home comfortable and cozy! If you don't want your energy bills to skyrocket this winter, pay close attention to your energy use and efficiency. Start by following these six simple, energy-saving tips.

Turn your thermostat down slowly.

The cooler you keep your home, the less energy you'll use. Where people go wrong is attempting to turn the thermostat down five or 10 degrees at once. This approach will leave you feeling chilly, causing you to turn the temperature up again. Here's a better approach: slowly turn the thermostat down one degree every three or four days. Your body will adapt, and you won't feel so cold.

Use your ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans use very little electricity. If you run them clockwise, they'll push warm air down from the ceiling. The temperature throughout your home will remain more even, so your heater won't have to run as much.

Change your air filter.

It takes a lot of extra energy for your furnace to push air through a clogged, dirty air filter. Replace your furnace filter every one to two months for improved efficiency and a cleaner HVAC system.

Use door snakes.

This tip is especially helpful if you have an older home without a lot of weatherstripping along the bottoms of your doors. Place an insulating door snake at the base of each exterior door. It will keep warm air from leeching outside, reducing your heating bills.

Bake multiple dishes at once.

Winter is the season for holiday parties, family gatherings, and big dinners. Running the oven all day can use a lot of energy. To save energy, choose a menu of dishes that can all go into the oven at the same time. Many dishes can be safely baked 25 degrees higher or lower temperature than the recipe recommends, if needed.

Choose LED lights.

If you decorate with outdoor lights for the holidays, choose the LED version. They use so much less energy than incandescent or fluorescent options, and they're just as beautiful.

Your winter energy bills don't have to leave your wallet empty and screaming. With the energy-saving tips above, you can moderate your gas and electricity usage for smarter savings.