Energy bills often rise during winter, but there are ways for home and business owners to keep costs down. There are numerous ways to lower the costs of staying comfortable – from DIY projects to helpful products and investments, such as waste oil heaters and boilers. Here are 15 methods for reducing your energy bills during peak usage times:
DIY Cost-Saving Solutions
Did you struggle to stay warm last winter? Here are seven DIY projects to do now that will keep you comfortable and save you money this season:
- Install storm windows. Installing low-e exterior or interior storm windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs between 10-30%, saving you as much as $330 a year.
- Insulate your water heater tank. By adding insulation to your water heater tank, you can save as much as $45 every year. At $30 to complete and a labor investment of 1.5 hours, it’s a project worth considering.
- Lower your water heater temperature. This project is free, but saves you around $30 annually. Most households need their water heaters set at only 120 degrees Fahrenheit – anything higher creates potential for inflated energy bills.
- Install snow-melting systems beneath paths. While shoveling driveways and paths doesn’t directly affect your energy bill, it can create a cost expenditure on any labor- or tool-related costs needed to shovel paths.
- Weatherstrip your doors and windows. Doors and windows leak out more heat than you might imagine. Installing weatherstripping around windows and putting draft stoppers in front of doors can reduce monthly heating costs by up to 20%.
- Schedule a yearly check-up. Before winter sets in, schedule a check-up of your heating system. A check-up can find problems early and save you the inconvenience and expense of an emergency repair callout during a winter storm. Additionally, regular check-ups increase the lifespan of your system. In total, this can save you money in the long run.
- Use blinds and window shades. Installing and using window blinds at the appropriate time during the day can significantly reduce the energy use of a home or a business. Closing the shades at night adds some insulation to windows resulting in less heat loss. Conversely, opening blinds on a sunny winter day allows sunlight to shine through adding additional heat in space.
Products Worth Having
Maybe you’re not a DIY kind of person, or you want additional ideas on how to keep your energy costs low. Consider these five products if you’re looking for other ways to save:
- A woodstove can keep costs down, as it only requires efficient and clean-burning firewood. Aside from the cost of wood – or if you already have access to firewood – the price of using a woodstove is either cheap or free.
- Invest in solar panels. All you need is plenty of sunlight and you’ve got yourself an efficient source of energy that can provide warmth through radiant heat.
- Wear warm clothing. Saving money on energy costs can be as simple as changing the way you dress. Turning the thermostat down and wearing warm clothing instead, such as thermals, can keep your temperature up and your energy bill down. In fact, turning your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for just 8 hours a day can save you as much as 10% off your heating bill.
- Try a blanket. In addition to wearing warm clothing, snuggling up with a blanket keeps the chill away too.
- Cover wood or laminate floors with rugs. Covering cold floors with plush rugs can keep rooms – and feet – warm. These are also easily removable for the warmer months.
Even with all the savvy DIY tricks and great products listed above, there is still more you can do to keep energy costs low. Keep reading to find out how to optimize your comfort and maximize savings:
- Purchase a MacroAir HVLS Fan. A fan might not be the first thing you think of to keep you and your business warm in winter. However MacroAir high-volume low-speed fans de-stratify the air pushing the warm layer at the ceiling all the way down to the floor. This action cuts heating costs by up to 20% in winter. Additionally, by making employees more comfortable, they are likely to be more productive. An added win for the bottom line of any business.
- Invest in a waste oil heater. Waste oil heaters provide quick heat with easy cleanup. They can burn a variety of oils efficiently, including synthetics. The addition of an air compressor means you no longer need to run air constantly to heat an area quickly and keep it warm. And the energy savings are significant. A typical 3,900 square foot facility can save over $2,250 each winter. Use EnergyLogic’s Waste Oil Calculator to find out how much your business can save this winter.
- Install a waste oil boiler. With a waste oil boiler, you get the warmth you need right when you need it. Newer boilers come with microprocessor boiler control systems. Waste oil boilers can save up to 20% of fuel, saving you money. Waste oil boilers can also come with air compressors for quick, efficient heat.
Through DIY tips and tricks to products and smart investments, there’s a way for everyone to save during winter on energy costs while staying comfortable. No need to sacrifice comfort for savings – you can have both.