Winter is here and so are the higher utility bills associated with endlessly heating your home. Heating and cooling your home can account for as much as 40% or more of your utility bills. Fortunately, there is a host of ways to combat the costs associated with Old Man Winter.  Below you’ll find a list of energy efficient ideas to keep you and your family warm this season, whether you live in a house or an apartment.

Install a Smart or Programmable Thermostat

If you haven’t already, installing a smart or programmable thermostat is a very easy way to make sure temperatures in the home fluctuate correctly based on the schedule of inhabitants. Smart thermostats can learn the schedule of your home and adjust the temperatures inside accordingly.  If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure to program it to cut back to a cooler level when people aren’t home. Turning back your thermostat for 8 hours can save as much at 10% a year on your heating bill.

Perform an Air Leak Test

Leaks in windows and doors are one of the biggest culprits to a chilly household. If you feel a draft, the first step in sealing it is to find the source of the leak. One of the easiest methods to do this is a simple air leak test using a match or incense sick. To do perform this test, attempt the following on a windy day or while all exhaust vents are blowing.

  1. First, close all your windows and doors. 
  2. Secondly, with all safety precautions in mind, light an incense stick or a match and pass it by windows and doors. If the smoke is sucked out of the room or blown into the room, you found an air leak in your home.
  3. Seal any leaks with this DIY project on how to seal air leaks with caulk or this handy guide on weatherstripping.

Free Up Blocked Vents

Winter time can mean extra furniture: additional chairs for relatives visiting or holiday decorations. Be sure your furniture and décor are not blocking heating registers. This will allow air to circulate more freely and save energy.

Winter may mean colder weather is here, but it doesn't have to drain your wallet. Check out the Energy Saver site for more tips on saving money during the winter, and all year long.