5 Ways to Save Money on Electricity for the Winter
Summer is almost over in some places like Maine, where fall starts in mid-September. As the summer nears to the end, so does the warmer weather. For some homeowners in Maine, cooler weather comes with a hefty price tag.
For years, natural gas in Maine was the way many homeowners absorbed the cost of turning up the heat during the winter. But as more people have discovered the savings in using natural gas, the price of natural gas has doubled. According to bangordailynews.com, customers of Bangor Gas Co. have seen a 47 percent increase from $0.89 per therm charge in December 2011 to $1.30 per therm in December 2012.
This winter, experts say that homeowners in Maine can expect to spend even more money than last year to heat their houses. The simple reason is the supply and demand for natural gas resources.
There’s no denying that gas cost will continue increasing from year to year. It can seem inevitable, and even impossible to save money on energy each month. However, with a well-developed plan for saving energy, there could be a solution to the problem.
Here's a few steps/tips that homeowners can put into practice so that they can save some extra money on astronomical gas bills during the winter:
Seal Air Leaks:
Air leakage is caused when the outside air comes into the house, and the conditioned air leaves the house through broken sealants in the windows, doors, and through cracks. During the cold months, too much air may enter the house causing it to feel drafty or cold. It’s real important to find where the air leaks are located in or outside your home because this can cut energy cost immediately. Energy.gov suggests that caulking and weatherstripping are two simple ways to seal leaks, cracks, and window frames. You’ll want to use caulking to seal cracks around the doors and window frames. Weatherstripping is good to use for sealing components that move such as doors and operable windows.
Cover Windows with Plastic:
Covering your windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film, can help you save 14 percent on lost energy. Using the plastic film to cover your windows in your house acts as another agent to help keep the cold weather out of your house during the winter. You can find the clear plastic film at home stores for about $6 for 62 x84.
Resetting the Thermostat:
Save money by resetting your thermostat to fit the time that you’re home and when you’re not. Resetting your thermostat could save you as much as 10 percent a year on energy. In the winter months, you can save money by setting the thermostat to 68°F when you're awake and set it lower when you're sleeping or away from home. Moreover, new digital thermostats such as Nest Thermostat and Ecobee Thermostat make the process of saving on energy easier.
Know How to use Your Fireplace:
Using the fireplace in the right way could help you shave off money on monthly energy cost. Make sure that the fireplace damper or flue is closed when there’s not a fire burning inside of it. When the fireplace is in use make sure that the thermostat is lowered to about 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check Your Water Heater:
Your water heater uses about 20 percent of your home's energy. Lower the temperature to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money. It’s also a great way to avoid getting burnt by hot water in the shower or washing your hands.
Staying warm, but energy efficient can seem like an impossible task to complete on your list, but don't let another winter go by where you're spending thousands of dollars on energy. Actively look for ways to decrease the energy consumption in your house. If you're feeling really motivated, look for ways to help your community stay energy efficient.