Are you looking for ways to keep your electric bill down during the winter? It’s 12 degrees outside here right now – brrr!
Since heating is such a huge part of our winter utility bills, we work hard to make sure our electric bill is as low as possible.
Last week I shared how we switched electricity suppliers and got a 26% reduction in our rate. This change alone will save us about $75 on our next bill.
We have a large house with electric heat so we make every effort to squeeze the most value out of our heating bill.
Our current house is quite a bit larger than our last one and when we moved into this house, we were worried that our utility bills would go up.
But this hasn’t been the case due to a few things we’re doing to help keep the electric bill low.
Here are some ways you can save on your electric bill
1. Use multiple heat sources
Our propane fireplace which provides a lovely ambiance, but more importantly it efficiently heats up our main living space. I run it during the day until the room reaches 68, then turn it off.
The furnace and heat pump don’t have to work nearly as hard and we are only heating the main areas of the house.
The rest of the house does get chilly but no one cares since the upstairs isn’t in use during the daytime.
2. Use infrared space heaters.
If you don’t have an efficient fireplace, take a look at a small infrared heater. We have 2 of these heaters– they are amazing at pumping out a warm, cozy heat. Even though they are electric, they are much more efficient at heating a single room than the whole house furnace.
3. Keep an eye on the room temperature.
I use a thermometer like this one to keep an eye on the temperature in our kitchen / family room. I like to be able to see the temperature kitchen/family instead of guessing.
4. Close off areas of the house that you don’t use much.
We have an open foyer which is lovely but expensive to heat. I use cheap magnetic vent covers to redirect the heat to the bedrooms where we need it. Ditto for the laundry room and closets.
No one cares if the laundry room is a couple degrees cooler. We also close doors to rooms that aren’t in use.
5. Insulate windows.
We insulate the windows with good quality, tight-fitting honeycomb blinds or heavy curtains. This really makes a difference in heat loss through the windows. You can also put a thick plastic film around windows to add an extra layer of insulation.
6. Look for drafts from outlets and switches.
You might even be able to feel a draft through light switches or outlets on outside walls. You can get little foam insulation pads that fit under the switch covers that will help keep out the cold.
Also, outside doors may need an extra strip of insulation.
7. Insulate unfinished attic and crawl spaces.
Make sure these spaces have at least 12 inches of loose insulation spread across the entire space.
8. Insulate the garage door windows.
My husband cut some thick styrofoam to insulate our garage door windows at our old house. This helped keep the garage a tad warmer.
9. Dress properly.
Beyond the above tips, I’ve found that proper clothing makes a huge difference in being comfortably warm at home.
I keep a pair of Crocs as house shoes. Without them, I’m freezing!
Rugs in the bathrooms protect feet from cold tile floors. Brrr!
10. Use extra warm down comforters.
I got my husband this comforter for his birthday (honest!) and he is in heaven! It was pricey but worth every penny. A nice warm blanket allows you to set the thermostat a couple degrees lower at night.
Close all the blinds and curtains at night and dress the kids in warm, cozy pajamas. We keep it at about 66.
11. Install a programmable thermostat.
This is another great help at managing the temperature at home, especially if everyone is gone during the day and you want to warm up the house for when family members are due home.
The programmable thermostats are great for adjusting the temperature for different times of day. So set it at a lower degree when no one is home, then have it bump up an hour before you arrive home.
12. Just turn the thermostat down.
If your bill is really a problem, you can just turn the thermostat down a degree or two (or three). With warm clothing, you may be able to still stay comfortable and save some money.
Above all, keep an eye on your usage.
We record our electric and propane meters a couple times a month. We also call in our reading to the electric company every month so we’re not hammered with an abnormally high estimate.
Of course we shopped around for the best price on propane (here’s how to do negotiate your bills).
Spring will be here soon! Until then, stay warm and keep working on that bill.
What do you do to save on your electric bill?