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11 Life Hacks to Save Energy During the Winter

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11 Life Hacks to Save Energy During the Winter

For many households, winter is the most expensive time of the year. It is not just the holiday costs associated with the season that creates this expense. The heating costs due to cold weather can also cause your utility bill to skyrocket.

Heating a home is not cheap. In fact, the cost for heat continues to increase.

This means it is more important than ever for people to take steps to reduce their energy usage and decrease their costs. Here are 11 life hacks to help you save energy during the winter.

1. Turn Down the Heat 3 Degrees

You might not know this, but even the smallest margin can make a significant difference. Turning your heat down just 3 degrees can save 10% on your energy bill.

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Save Energy During the Winter

    2. Fill Your Wall Cavities

    It is important that your walls are insulated. The costs savings this will create can vary based on the size and type of your home. However, no matter how much the savings every little bit helps. You should definitely have a consultation to see if insulation is right for you.

    3. Seal up the Leaks

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      Caulking leaks around windows and doors can save energy in the winter. You should try to find places where there are pipes, vents, or electrical conduits that go through a wall, ceiling, or floor. You should definitely check the bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and any pipes inside a closet. When you find gaps where the pipe or vent goes into the wall, you should seal it up. Remember, caulk works the best when used on small gaps. There are other products that are available for larger gaps.

      4. Reduce Hot Water Temperature

      You should set your hot water heater to the “normal” setting, or to a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit. This is unless your dishwasher’s owner’s manual requires a higher level. Setting your water heater to this level can save 7-11% of water heating costs.

      5. Download the Hive App

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        The Hive app is a way to connect your thermostat to your mobile device. This app allows you to check your home’s temperature through the app and change or turn off the thermostat remotely. This gives you more flexible control of your environment and is a great way to maximize the internet of things.

        6. Foil Your Radiators

        Putting a sheet of foil between your radiator and your wall reflects the heat back into the room instead of out through the walls. This is a simple but valuable way to keep your heat in and reduce expenses. This is easy to do with tinfoil and cardboard or specialist radiator foil.

        7. Keep Your Radiator Clear

        It is essential that you keep things away from your radiator. This includes furniture and any other items that prevent heat from circulating at maximum efficiency. You want the heat to be able to move freely throughout your room.

        8. Only Heat Rooms You Use

        Sometimes we have rooms we never use. Like guest rooms or storage areas. These rooms should be closed off with their vents sealed to be more energy efficient. This will also help direct the flow of air into the rooms which are used the most. The average energy bill is $183 per month. If you use a space heater in the rooms you use and set your thermostat to 62 degrees, you will save about $200 each year.

        9. Close Your Doors

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        Close Your Doors

          This may seem obvious but you would be shocked how many people need to be reminded. Closing your internal doors helps to keep the heat in and also prevents cold air from circulating in rooms that are not occupied.

          10. Increase Your Window Glazing

          Increase Your Window Glazing

            When you double glaze your windows you keep more heat in. This means you do not need to keep your thermostat as high as you do with a single glazed window. Another benefit is that you will hear less noise from outside and you can make more noise inside. This is great for when you want peace and quiet or to have a rocking party.

            You can even install triple glazed windows, which provide an even greater barrier to keep out the noise and lose less heat.

            11. Use LED Holiday Lights

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            Use LED Holiday Lights

              Decorate with LED lights during the holidays. You can purchase new LED holiday lights which use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. LED lights also don’t emit as much heat and are more resistant to breakage. This makes them a much safer alternative. You should also always unplug your holiday lights before going to sleep or leaving your house. These lights continue to draw power even when they are not in use. This can add unnecessary expenses to your utility bill.

              Conclusion

              By following these 11 life hacks you can avoid unnecessary costs over the winter and put more money back into your pocket. Use it to save energy for your home for a rainy day or take that trip you have always wanted to take. Almost anything is better than unnecessarily spending it on your utility bill.

              Featured photo credit: tumblr via 67.media.tumblr.com

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              Vikas Agrawal

              Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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              Last Updated on January 5, 2022

              33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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              33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

              In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

              Some easy ways to save money:

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              1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
              2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
              3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
              4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
              5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
              6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
              7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
              8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
              9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
              10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
              11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
              12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
              13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
                  a reusable water bottle and refill it.
                • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
                • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
                • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
                • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
                • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
                • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
                • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
                • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
                • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
                • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
                • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
                • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
                • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
                • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
                • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
                • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
                • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
                • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
                • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
                • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

                Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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                Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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