Staying warm and dry this winter doesn’t have to be a pipe dream!
Cold weather is here and whether you own a home or a small business, you’ll want to make sure that your property is protected. According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, energy costs will reach a decade-long high this winter. Heating costs are predicted to rise 28% for U.S. households relying on natural gas and 27% for those using heating oil. Electricity costs are also anticipated to increase 10% per the U.S. Energy Department. Read on for tips on how you can keep you home or business warm while keeping your lower the energy bills in check.
Why Are Heating Costs Rising?
Many factors have contributed to the rapidly increasing energy costs this year including the following:
- A predicted colder-than-average winter
- Rising wholesale gas prices
- Depleted energy stores from increased demand during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns
- Lowered supply stemming from financial sanctions put on Russian oil after the invasion of Ukraine
How Can I Reduce Energy Costs in My Household?
With skyrocketing prices, you may be wondering how you can reduce or control your winter utility bills. Many may be tempted to simply turn down the thermostat. Fortunately, there are ways you can lower your energy bills while staying warm this winter.
Some Tips to Help You Lower Your Energy Bills & Protect Your Home:
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower your temperature when you’re not home.
- Seal areas where heat could escape from your windows and doors.
- Allow your faucets to drip during periods of extreme cold
- Insulate around your exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tapes or other UL-listed products.
- Ensure radiators and vents are unobstructed.
- Open curtains and windows during the day and close them at night.
- Replace your furnace filter if it’s dirty.
- Have a professional inspect your HVAC systems for leaks.
- Close the vents and shut the doors to rooms you’re not using.
- Consider other sources of energy waste (e.g., leaky faucets, inefficient light bulbs).
- Know the location of your water shut-off valve. Consider closing it if you’re going to be away from your home or business for an extended period.
Cold weather may make some increased energy costs inevitable. By using the above tips, and consulting the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver Guide, you can be well on your way to managing your winter utility bill.