15 tips to lower your winter energy usage

Does your energy bill give you the chills during these colder winter months? Follow these simple tips to conserve energy in your home when the temperature dips. Every little bit makes a difference!

  1. Open the shades or blinds in your home in the daytime to let the sunshine warm the house.
  2. Defrost food in the refrigerator rather than using the microwave or oven.
  3. Make no-bake desserts instead of heating the oven. Search Pinterest for some ideas, like these.
  4. If you decide to use the oven to cook, check on the food through the oven door rather than opening it. Your food will cook faster.
  5. Keep stove tops covered when you’re cooking to avoid heat loss.
  6. Try batch cooking. This is the process of cooking a lot of food at once and then storing it for future use. If you fire up the oven to cook one dish, see if there’s any other food you can cook at the same time to kill two meals with one oven heating. Perhaps try this casserole.
  7. Rotate your ceiling fans clockwise to push the warm air down.
  8. Use an electric blanket instead of a space heater. It uses less energy.
  9. Wash your clothes in cold water to give your water heater a rest.
  10. Run multiple dryer loads at once. Same idea as No. 6. Also, if you use the cool-down cycle on your dryer, the lingering heat will help dry your clothes.
  11. This may sound familiar, but use energy-efficient light bulbs. On average, lighting accounts for 13% of a home’s electricity consumption, so it’s a good place to start trimming your bills. There’s a wide assortment on our Energy Saver Store.
  12. Is your home losing heat due to inefficiencies, cracks, poor insulation or other problems? One easy way to tell if your door frames have leaks is by holding a match to the seal and seeing if the flame extinguishes. You can purchase weather stripping to patch the leaks.
  13. Always set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature in your home. It’s a trial-and-error process depending on the outside weather, but adjusting the indoor temperature can pay dividends. If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat™, you can adjust the temperature with your smartphone so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your bed.
  14. Insulate pipes around your water heater.
  15. For power-draining electronic devices, hook them up to a single power strip in your home that you can use as a central shutdown point. This works year-round.

*For more home energy efficiency tips, visit our Energy Saver Center.