Simple Ways You Can Save Money Around The House This Winter
By PearlieDavis on February 04, 2013
4 tricks to help you conserve money and go a little green at the same time
It’s already started snowing in Michigan, and that means we are hunkering down for a harsh winter ahead.
We’re used to the temperatures dipping well below zero here, but winter also typically signifies bracing for a few months of outrageously high utility bills due to having to crank up the heat to keep out teeth from chattering. However, this winter, my husband and I decided to start following a few green family tips when it comes to home energy—both to save money on utility bills and do a little more to help the planet.
Here are four tips that will help you save money and energy around the house this winter…
1. Go natural to light the way
Yes, I realize the days are shorter and the nights longer during the winter. I drove home at 5pm yesterday afternoon and it was already dark outside! However, when we do get sun during the daytime, I make sure to open the blinds and curtains to let natural sunlight light up the rooms in my home when I can. Taking advantage of the sun not only saves on energy bills, it also helps my husband’s dour winter mood as he suffers from Season Affective Disorder (or SAD).
2. Unplug to save on phantom power drain
I always tell my kids to turn off the television, computer, stereo, or game system when they aren’t using them and they’ve gotten really good at respecting the environment in that way. So, in order to combat phantom power drain, this year I added the rule of unplugging all electronic devices as well. This ensures that the power is totally cut—otherwise, even though they’re off, electronics continue to suck up “phantom power,” which still converts to energy use on your electrical bills. To ensure you cut all power when devices aren’t in use, invest in power strips around the house.
3. Cut down on plastic consumption
I used to buy bottled water for my family by the case. And even though it did wonders for our health (compared to drinking sodas), it wasn’t exactly reducing our carbon footprint. So this summer, my husband and I had water purifiers installed in our home so we could drink water from the tap and save money by cutting out bottled water waste almost entirely.
4. Set the timer on your home heating
The simplest way that we’ve conserved energy as a family so far this winter is with a programmable thermostat. Having control over our home heating has really lowered our utility bills. For instance, I set the timer to normal when we’re home, but I set it to automatically drop a few degrees when we’re at work and school, as well as when we’re in deep sleep, plus, throwing on an extra sweater or blanket while watching television or reading a book isn’t so bad when it saves vital resources. Teaching the family to bundle up rather than turn it up can save you a lot on home energy costs.
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