Winter is still a few months away, but it is never too early to start thinking about saving energy costs during the cooler months. Electricity bills can skyrocket while we are indoors staying warm with our electric space heaters, electric blankets, and taking long hot showers. Pee Dee Electric Cooperative has spent years researching and educating our members on the best ways to keep costs down during winter months. While some are large and can be quite costly, there are many small sacrifices that can make a major difference in your winter bill.
Larger projects like installing a new high efficiency heat pump, adding insulation, and investing in new energy efficient appliances are key components to saving energy. Although these tasks can be expensive upfront, the amount saved over the next 10 years or more will certainly outweigh those initial costs. You should also have your home checked for plumbing leaks and fix any dripping faucets. A leak of one drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water and can cost you up to $35 per year. And before it gets too chilly outside, be sure to check that your attic door closes tightly. If possible, insulate the attic door for an extra barrier.
By taking the time to understand your energy use and by making small lifestyle changes, you can conserve energy. Your bank account will thank you!
10 Quick Tips to Avoid High Winter Bills
• Seal air leaks and insulate well to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering your home.
• Reduce waste heat by installing a programmable thermostat.
• Turn off lights when not in use.
• Lower your water heater temperature. The Department of Energy recommends using the warm setting (120 degrees) during fall and winter months.
• Unplug electronics like kitchen appliances and TVs when you’re away.
• Open blinds and curtains during the day to allow sunlight in to warm your home.
• Close blinds and curtains at night to keep cold, drafty air out.
• Use power strips for multiple appliances, and turn off the main switch when you’re away from home.
• Wash clothes in cold water, and use cold-water detergent whenever possible.
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED’s, which use at least 75 percent less energy.
For more info, visit www.pdec.com.