No matter what is going on in the world when winter arrives, one thing is certain. It’s going to be cold in North Texas. Staying safe and warm inside your home takes on more and more importance as the mercury drops on the thermometer, and we all tend to push the numbers up a bit on the thermostat to accommodate the chill in the air. It’s an important time to start watching your utility bill as well, because if it rises as well, you may want to take measures to get it back under control.
Luckily, there are some inexpensive things you can do to lower costs. Here are seven you can keep in mind.
1 - Turn it off.
When you’re not using an appliance, turn it off. Be aware that some electronic devices may continue to drain electricity even when they’re not turned on. Unplug them if possible. When you’re not using a room, turn off the lights.
2 - Close the door.
If you’re not using a room, close the door. This will help the rest of the house stay warm longer.
3 - Embrace solar power.
You don’t have to install solar panels to take advantage of the sun’s heat. If you have windows facing the sun, open the curtains or blinds, and let the sun shine in. Likewise, close then again when the sun is not shining in as this will help your home retain its warmth.
4 - Clear the vents.
Check the vents in your home. If they are blocked by furniture, curtains, or other objects, they’re not able to circulate air properly. Intake vents should also be cleaned regularly because they can become dirty when they pulled air into your heating system.
5 - Shower responsibly.
Sure, it can feel wonderful to stand in the shower for lengthy periods of time, but that time spent is also driving up your utility bills. Showers make up two-thirds of a home’s water heating costs. Shortening your shower can lower your bill when it comes around. For best results, keep your shower time as close to five minutes as possible. Encourage your family to do the same.
6 - Dress warmly.
Wear warm and comfortable clothes when you’re in the house. You don't have to act as if there’s an arctic blizzard going on outside (unless there is, of course). Long sleeves can do wonders for retaining your body heat. That will help you keep the thermostat set a little lower.
7 - Reverse the rotation of your ceiling fans.
If you use ceiling fans in the summer to circulate the air and keep cool, odds are you’ll use them in the winter as well. In the summer, they blow air down to help your body stay cool. When winter arrives, there is a switch on the fan that reverses the flow so it’s pulling air upward. Make sure it’s turned off first so your hand isn’t hit by the moving fan blades.