6 Ways to Effectively Fight This Year’s Brutal Energy Bills

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Do your part to cut energy bills and reduce chances of blackouts this winter

Staying warm in the dead of winter is an expensive endeavor—especially as temperatures drop to well below freezing in many parts of the U.S. and North America. The electricity demand during the months of December, January, and February is enough to set you back the rest of the year, and with everyone cranking the heat to stay warm, many utilities are warning of pending brownouts and blackouts around the country.

Here are six effective ways that you can curb this winter’s brutal energy bills

1. Schedule a furnace check-up

A furnace inspection with a certified technician should be an annual appointment to ensure your home’s heating and ventilation system is operating efficiently. Sure, inspections can cost you a little money; however, the price is offset by the energy savings over time you will glean from an optimal running furnace.

2. Program your thermostat

Give your furnace a break during the work day and during the night. By investing in a programmable thermostat you can automatically adjust the time the heating or air conditioning comes on according to a pre-set schedule, lowering your monthly energy bills in the process.

3. Look for appliance incentives

They do exist. And if you choose to invest in a new energy-efficient heating and air conditioning unit or an appliance (such as an oven, fridge, freezer, washing machine, or dish washer) you will drastically reduce your long-term bills. Many systems and appliances also qualify for federal tax credits of 30% off so be sure to consult your local government incentives and utility deals online before you buy.

4. Patch those leaks

Hunt down sources around your home where heat might be escaping through the cracks. Do a walk around of your home’s exterior—look to windows and door frames and caulk or use weather-stripping to plug up and seal drafty spots.

5. Swap those light bulbs

Swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents will drastically cut your home electricity costs. How? Switching one incandescent for a CFL will earn you approximately $35 in energy costs over the life of the bulb (which is about 10-years on average).

6. Unplug your gadgets

I know, I’m just as guilty of leaving my laptop plugged in all day long to charge even though it’s already juiced. Instead, unplug things like smart phone chargers, coffee pots, toaster ovens, microwaves, and appliances that continue to suck energy and generate heat when not in use. This is called “phantom power” and as long as appliances are attached to a power source they will continue to consume energy.

About The Author

Tina Jacobs is a registered nurse and DIY home improvement maven who has written and blogger for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.

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  1. Oh my mercy – the bills are killing me this year. Thanks for these tips – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they help!
    Jeannette recently posted..Five Family Friendly Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve!My Profile

    • Ours has been down this year due to a longer span of warmer weather, but with this snow and cold weather that hit us the last few weeks, I know we will be right back up to spending a small fortune on heating bills! Hope you can use some of these ways to get yours under control!!

  2. Great ideas! We’re already doing most of these things but need to work on unplugging a bit more.
    Danielle recently posted..Veggie Pizza Appetizer Recipe with RanchMy Profile

  3. Since we’re in an apartment, we don’t use up too much electricity. Well, at least not as much as we would if we lived in a house. Our favorite thing to do is switching out those light bulbs!
    Amiyrah recently posted..5 Lessons I Learned from The HobbitMy Profile

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