Thursday, January 30, 2014

5 Tips to Stay Green and Save Green This Winter

How can you save energy and money this winter? Although the nation has experienced negative 40 degree temperatures in Chicago and freezing weather in Florida this winter, you can still be energy efficient and cut your bills while staying warm. Check out these cost-saving tips and make your home a little greener this winter.

Lower your energy bill by letting in sunlight through the window.
Source: http://www.nrdc.org/
  1. Take Advantage of the Sun- Energy.gov recommends opening up your blinds and curtains during the daytime to let in natural light. Not only will you be saving on electricity bills, but you'll be obtaining natural warmth from the sun. Make sure to close your curtains at night to prevent chills from the cold windows.
  2. Cover Your Windows- Covering drafty windows with plastic wrap or clear tape can reduce chill and help you save on your heating costs. For the long term, invest in window coverings or insulating drapes to improve your energy efficiency.
  3. Use Your Ceiling Fan- Although this seems counterintuitive, ceiling fans have two settings, one that blows air forward, and one backwards. Set your fan to blow in reverse during winter, causing cold air to be drawn upward and warm air pushed down and towards the walls. Decrease your thermostat and turn on your ceiling fan for an energy-saving combination. 
    Reduce your water heating cost by taking shorter showers.
    Source: http://wakeup-world.com/

  4. Cut Your Water Heating Costs- Save money by lowering the temperature on your water heater. According to energy.gov, water heating can account for 14-25% of total energy consumed in a home. Additionally, shortening your shower time will reduce both energy and your heating bills. Consumerenergycenter.org reports that showers account for 2/3 of your total water heating costs. Cutting your showers in half can reduce your water heating bills up to 33%.
    Lower your thermostat in the winter time to save money and reduce your heating bill.
    Source: http://blogs.plos.org/
  5. Lower Your Thermostat- Although you want to stay warm and toasty, reducing your thermostat by just 1 degree can reduce your heating bills by up to 5%.Consumerenergycenter.org recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees and compensating by wearing a warm sweater while indoors.