The winter will cost American homes a substantial amount of money. It doesn’t matter if you use gas or electricity to power your heating system if you don’t find a way to lower your consumption levels you’re in for one unpleasant surprise. The numbers say it all. About 30% of American homes are struggling to pay their energy bills; the Energy Information Administration report details. Worse, it’s African-American and Latino households that suffer most.
Indeed, finding a way to cut energy bills by half this winter is paramount. This is especially true in times of the pandemic when money is harder to find. It’s true. When people are losing jobs left and right and businesses are closing shops by the thousands making every dollar count is vital. And your heating bill is definitely a good start.
Make a List
The key to lowering your energy bills is accountability. Heating bills don’t just shoot up on their own. There are activities in your precious abode that contribute to the grand payable total. A little accounting, therefore, should go a long way. It can help you find your major energy culprit. On the other end, this will make you aware of possible holes in the system.
The story of Kara Stiff is inspiring. By listing all the major activities that contribute to her power bill, the lady of the house was able to reduce the electricity usage by 85%. Yes, you heard that right. It’s 85%. So instead of the usual 30 kWh/day that most American households today use, Kara’s family of four uses but 4.7 kilowatt-hours on a daily basis. That’s simply staggering.
Of course, Kara Stiff is an avid environmentalist. She shares how containing power usage to the utmost minimum can lessen the carbon footprint and help Mother Earth in the grand scheme of things. Their listing has gotten them to where they are. They got rid of their dryer for one. And finding the light bulbs were consuming 12% of the power, they throw it out the window and use LEDs instead. Plus, they minimize vampire energy, turning off the big computer screen which doubles as a TV for 22 hours.
Plug Energy Holes
While Kara Stiff’s is leading from the front, plugging energy holes in your abode is operating from behind. And it can work wonders to lower your energy bill. The goal here is to find all those drafts in the house that’s stealing the warmth inside your abode this winter. Incidentally, these drafts work against you during the summer. They are also the same holes that let cool air escape.
Right off the bat, know that this task is tedious. It can surely take a toll on you. That’s why using a thermal scanner can help you locate those drafty places. To start, inspect for drafts in your doors, windows, and floors. You can weatherproof your windows to stop the bleeding. Sealants and insulating strips should come in handy. If you run out of materials, you can cover your windows and doors with plastic or stuff them with used newspapers.
Another major portion of your abode you need to look into is the attic and the roof. We’re pretty sure that if your roof has not been maintained properly for years, it would be filled to the brim with all sorts of holes to take the warmth away during the sweater weather.
If it has weakened over time, replacing your roof with a new one could be the best decision to make. Not only will it give you the best insulation you can get, but by doing so, you will also raise your property value by as much as 60 to 70%. Most importantly, you’re assured of better weather protection for years to come.
Additionally, floors can contribute to your heat loss. So make sure you don’t take them for granted. If you have no way to plug these drafts, you can use pieces of rolled-up newspapers. They should work fine until you have a better way to go about it. Then your energy audit should also include holes that are part of the home design. We’re talking about keyholes and letterboxes. Remember that a hole need not be visible for it diminish your energy levels inside.
Lower Your Thermostat
You will be surprised. But the thermostat can play a central role in lowering your heating bills this winter. Putting your thermostat a notch lower by just one degree can lower your energy bill by as much as 10%. So if the weather outside is not that cold or if the sun is up, then, by all means, put that dial down.
You need to be conscientious about these things. But if you do your due diligence, you could save your money and make the winter season a warmer time for you and your family.