As one of the most popular sentences in pop culture says – winter is coming! And it definitely is…even in Southern California, believe it or not. Along with winter comes the dreaded heating bill, draft problems, and heavy blankets.
The global financial crisis fell heavily on all of us, so it is time to think through the winter budget. Here we have some amazing tips for you to save energy this winter and have your electricity bills under control.
Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with homeowners every day about the best improvement projects for their homes. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura with reliable general contractors. Keep reading for a few great ideas for how to save energy and money this winter.
Check the insulation of your home
One of the top pieces of advice we have is to start on time with smaller adjustments. It is still not too late do to something that will help you save energy and money this winter. The same goes for bigger adjustments and projects.
The first thing that comes to mind is to check the insulation of your home. If your windows and doors are not holding the best, chances are you will be heating the air around your home, and we certainly do not want to do that.
If you can, now is the best time to change your windows. It might seem like a huge investment, and it can be, but the investment will pay itself off eventually. By ensuring your windows and doors close snuggly and not letting the draft take its toll, you will warm up quickly and save energy in the process.
If this is currently a financially impossible task for you, start saving money and do it when you can. What you can do now with a similar effect is to get some draft blockers. They are usually cheap and will work just fine.
These are usually made from soft materials and have some weight to them. They would fit most window frames and are perfect if you have double windows. Just pop one in the space between your windows and ensure the cold air does not bother you, plus it keeps the warmth inside of your home.
Change the lightbulbs to save energy
This is not directly connected to heating, but it is a way to save energy as well. If you had not done that already, we friendly suggest switching to LED lightbulbs. They are initially a bit more expensive than regular bulbs, but they offer more advantages.
LED lightbulbs will use less energy, last you a long, long time, plus will not pop off and scare the life out of you when it is time to change it. Most LED lights just dim down when they are close to the end, so you will know that it is time to get a replacement.
Some LED lights use up to 90% less energy than regular lights, so switching all your bulbs to LED will definitely make a difference in your next electricity bill.
Energy saving lifestyle
Since we are on the topic of lightbulbs, there is something you all need to hear. Turn off the lights if you are not spending your time in that particular room. Simple as that, but we often forget about it, or simply do not notice that our whole home glows like a Christmas tree.
Do you know when we notice it? Of course, it’s when we open the electricity bill with shaky hands. Learn how to move through your home without leaving all the lights on. It is really not that hard to adopt this habit, yet is very useful to save energy throughout the year.
The same goes for appliances, especially the ones you do not use often. Unplug these, and simply plug them in when needed. That is roughly a few seconds of your time – but it will save energy, and trust us, everything counts!
Another money-saving tip – clean and safely put away chunky appliances you will not use during the winter, for example, your portable AC. Getting your device cleaned and ready for the next season will positively impact its longevity, meaning you will not need to pay for repairs too often.
Invest in a thermostat
Modern situations require modern solutions, right? Thermostats can be your new best friends and helpers on your way to saving energy. A programmable thermostat can be a great addition to your heating system.
If you are handy, you can even put your thermostat by yourself, so without additional expenses. These devices can help you program the heating system however works for you and your home. You can easily put the temperature down if it is too hot, and adjust everything according to the weather and your habits.
Nowadays you can even go beyond this and get yourself a thermostat that is easily connected to your WiFi. That means you will have the option of not heating your home when you and/or other people are not there. The best thing is that you can give instructions to your device on when to start heating, so you will not have to spend your first hour upon arrival freezing while covered in blankets.
This project may cost you a serious buck, but when you look at the benefits you will see how convenient and energy efficient it really is.
Save Energy and Money This Winter
Probably the most valuable advice we have for you is to learn to incorporate these tips into your daily lives. This ‘energy saving’ mentality is great not just for your wallet, but the environment as well.
It costs nothing to be a bit more attentive when it comes to plugging in and out devices and turning off unnecessary lights around your home.
If you are an experienced DIY-er, there are more things you can do alone to improve the state of your home before the winter comes. Budget issues can postpone some of the larger projects, so you can start smaller and you will notice differences for sure.
You can sit down and make some arrangements with other members of your household if you do not live alone. Working together as a team for a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly home is a must, otherwise, it is just a long shot.
We hope you find these ideas inspiring and decide to do something to save energy before the winter cold hits. To end this on a brighter note, winter is not only about heating bills and the cold – the holiday season is just around the corner!
When it comes to finding the best contractor for your project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com