Healthy Homes

Tips for lowering energy costs in cold temperatures

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 14:07

Lower temperatures usually mean higher costs, especially when it comes to monthly energy, gas and water bills. Homeowners are forced to shell out additional funds to cover these utilities, but there are small changes to make around the home that may help people pinch pennies in the long-run. Individuals looking to construct new buildings or renovate old ones have myriad options, from monitoring electrical use throughout the house to purchasing new technology. For those who need tips when it comes to saving money around the home, consider the following:

Use windows to conserve heat

Whether your home is equipped with large-pane windows or small, circular ones, they can be used to cut heat loss and prevent unwanted drafts from entering. Be sure to examine all doors and windows throughout a building, reinforcing cracks that may let unwanted air enter or escape. Additionally, Energy.gov recommends covering large windows with sheets of plastic or insulating drapes to ensure maximum comfort in the room. Not only will these coverings decrease cool temperatures, but they may lead to lower heat bills as the system does not have to work as hard to warm the area.
The site also encourages people to take advantage of natural light in a home, opening curtains where the sun directly faces the room and closing off shaded spots. This solar-generated heat can provide optimal temperatures without users having to spike up thermostats.

Regulate appliances to save energy

Consumers Energy detailed how washers, dryers, ovens and even refrigerators can be adjusted to prevent extra energy expulsion during the day. Recommendations include turning off dishwashers before the drying cycle to allow dishes to air dry, using glass and ceramic dishes in the oven as they cook 25 degrees warmer, washing clothing in cold water with special detergent, leaving plenty of room for air circulation in freezers and turning off electrical devices when they're not in use.
Additionally, Energy.gov tells visitors to switch to LED and energy-efficient light bulbs, as they can drastically cut electric costs over time.

Invest in the Total Warmth System  

Switching to radiant heat flooring can save homeowners on heating costs as the technology reduces the amount of energy required to heat a space. Warmboard's new Total Warmth System introduces a digital thermostat that can automatically adjust heat in a room, a water heater that boasts 97 percent efficiency and an innovative new way to install the technology that requires significantly less electrical work than the traditional system.