Washer and dryer in utility room

5 Unexpected Ways to Save Energy in the Winter

Most people use more energy in the winter because they run their furnace to keep their home warm. However, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your energy use. I’m not talking about adding insulation and other expensive home improvements, either. Here is a list of unexpected ways to save energy this winter.

Wash Your Clothes on the Cold Setting

Your water heater constantly works to make sure you have hot water on demand. However, it uses more energy when new water is added to the tank. Therefore, you can save energy by using less hot water. One way you can do this is to wash your clothes on the cold setting. You really don’t need boiling hot water to get your clothes clean. Also, make sure that you don’t let your dryer run longer than it needs to.

Seal Air Leaks Under Doors

You don’t have to buy new, double-pane windows to save energy in the winter (although it helps). Instead, you can just make sure that there are no air leaks into your home. The gap under doors is one of the worst offenders. You can buy some inexpensive weather stripping and install it to prevent drafts and save on home heating costs. Covering your windows with insulated window treatments and making sure the flue damper on your fireplace is closed also helps a lot.

Turn Down Your Thermostat

Furnaces use up a lot of energy, especially if you need to heat a large home. You can save some money and energy by turning your thermostat down a degree or two in the winter. Most people can’t tell the difference between a home that’s 72 degrees and a home that’s only 70. Also, try to only heat the rooms in your home that you use. This can be achieved with multiple thermostats or closing vents where heat is not needed. Proper furnace maintenance is also important in saving energy.

Put Your Lights on Timers

Another way to save energy in the winter is to make sure you’re not using lights or appliances more than you need to. For instance, you don’t need to leave your porch light on all night. To make sure you don’t forget to turn it off, you can put timers on your lights. It’s easy to do and will save you a lot of money and energy.

Try to Make Your Meals in the Oven

During the winter, try to use your oven more than other cooking methods. It will save you energy because you can also use the heat from your oven to warm your home. After you’re done baking, simply leave the door to the oven open a crack so that all of the heat can escape and warm up your house. This extra warmth will give your furnace a break for a little while and save you energy. Of course, don’t use your oven in replacement of your furnace.

If saving energy is important to you, make sure that you implement some or all of the tips mentioned in this article. One of the best things is that you’ll save money, too. Don’t waste energy!

Image via Flickr by roundedbygravity

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