Keeping Your Energy Bills Lower: Preparing for Fall and Winter


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The arrival of fall and winter means dwindling temperatures, but those don’t have to equate to rising energy bills! By following some simple energy-saving tips, you won’t just go easier on your wallet, but you’ll help protect the environment, too.

Follow these tips to hang on to your hard-earned dollars and stay warm, while reducing your use of natural resources.

1. Let the sun help you, free of charge! Keep curtains and blinds open during the colder fall and winter days and let the warm rays heat your living spaces.

2. Save about 10% on your energy bill by turning your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for eight hours each day. Your savings will increase even if you’re able to keep your apartment at a lower temperature while you’re at work and while you’re sleeping. Soft flannel sheets and comfy socks can make that easily doable.

3. Combat dry winter air by decorating your apartment with house plants. Humidity adds warmth to the air, and plants are natural providers of humidity. As an added bonus, they also help to purify the air. Check out this handy guide and figure out which ones are best for you.

4. Reverse the direction of fans to clockwise and operate on a low speed in order to better trap heat within your living spaces.

5. Move furniture away from air registers to assure that air can freely circulate.

6. Switch out old-school incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These energy-saving bulbs use about 75% less energy and last almost ten times longer than those outdated standard bulbs, which are currently being phased out of stores, anyway.

7. Beware of energy vampires, devices that use energy even when switched off. Together they can be responsible for 20% of your energy bill. Some of the most common vampires are bricks (cords used with laptops and TVs), cell phone chargers, cable boxes, video game consoles, coffee makers, and DVD players.

How to deal with energy vampires:

  • Unplug these energy-sucking devices.
  • Use the energy-saving features provided with your computer.
  • Plug phone chargers and bricks into power strips, and then turn them off when not in use.
  • Use the cool setting on your hair dryer and lower energy consumption by 50-75%.
  • Make a commitment to be extra-diligent about lowering your energy bill during these upcoming chilly months. You’ll find less ‘sticker shock’ when you get your bills, you’ll have more financial resources for other expenses, and you’ll be part of the effort seeking to lessen our strain on the environment through the use of fewer natural resources.

    Additional Sources for More Information:

    http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips
    http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina.asp
    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_tips_renters10