1. Adjust the thermostat
As temperatures outside decrease, we tend to increase temperatures inside. Whether your home is heated with gas or electricity, your bills are likely to be higher during the colder months. When you’re not home, lower the thermostat setting by 10 to 15 degrees to avoid paying for heat that you aren’t using. When you are home, set the temperature as low as you’re comfortable with, and compensate by layering clothing or snuggling up under a blanket.
2. Make use of sunlight
The sun is a free source of heat and can help warm your home without cutting into your budget. Keeping the curtains or blinds of south-facing windows open during the day will collect the most sunlight, heating your home naturally. Just be sure to close them at night to hold in the warmth and avoid losing heat through cold windows.
3. Block drafts
Windows and doors don’t have to be open to let out precious heat. Small gaps around windows and doors can cause drafts that cool your home and make your furnace or heaters work harder. Other often overlooked places for heat to escape are through the exhaust fans of bathrooms and window-mounted air conditioning units. Vent covers and draft stoppers can be purchased or made at home to keep the heat in and the cold out.
4. Turn down water temperature
It may seem counterintuitive to lower temperatures in colder months, but lowering your water heater’s temperature setting can save you money. Using the “warm” or “normal” (120 degrees) setting can save on the energy used to heat water.
5. Add moisture to the air
Moist air holds heat better and feels warmer, too! By holding more heat, your furnace will run less frequently. A humidifier, pan of water near your radiator, or even leaving the exhaust fan off after a hot shower can add insulating moisture to the air in your home or apartment.