Need some tips to lower your electricity bill this winter? Air leaks throughout the home are sources of heat loss during cold winter months. According to the Department of Energy, you could potentially save between 5-30 percent per year by reducing drafts in your home!
An easy way to see if you have warm air escaping or cold air entering your home is to use a stick of incense. Wait until a fairly windy day and then go throughout your home and hold the incense stick by windows and doors. If you have a draft, you will see horizontal movement of the smoke. You can also check wall outlets on walls that face outdoors. If you have a draft, use child safety outlet covers on your outlets. You can also use a thermal leak detector to measure temperature changes. Matt uses the thermal imaging camera in his CAT phone in our home.
Lower Your Electricity Bill By Doing An Energy Audit on Your Home
To understand how to save money on your electric bill, you need to know how much electricity is being used by items in your home.
(1) Measure kW used using a kW meter. This is a great way to see if energy is being used even when something is off. Kilowatt hours, abbreviated kWh, are units used to measure your electric use over time. For example, using 1,000 watts of electricity for 1 hour means that you used 1 kWh.
(2) Watch members of your home over a period of time to evaluate who the energy using culprits are.
(3) Using a checklist, determine what upgrades and changes need to be made to your home to limit energy waste.
Kilowatt hours, abbreviated kWh, are units used to measure your electric use over time. For example, using 1,000 watts of electricity for 1 hour means that you used 1 kWh.
- Use energy efficient lightbulbs
- Cover your hot water heater with a jacket
- Use a power strip for items so you can easily turn them off
Use a draft dodger by windows and doors
Another way to lower your electricity bill is to keep your curtains closed overnight during winter months. If you have seen condensation on your windows, closing your curtains at night will help prevent this. The cold air will stay between the curtains and windows while the warm air will stay in the rooms. If your curtains aren’t already lined, add lining by sewing old bedsheets onto the backs or purchase thermal curtains.
Examples of How to Make Draft Dodgers
Understand your electric bill
An important step to lower your electricity bill is to understand how you are charged for your electricity each month. Check with your electric company to see what times of day you should be consuming less energy. Depending on the electric company, you might be getting charged more when you consume electricity during high peak hours. The times will vary by season, too. Also check with your electric company to learn about bill credits for conserving on energy.
On my electric bill in Virginia, I have the following sections:
- Distribution Service: What I’m charged for delivery of electric to my residence.
- Electricity Supply Service: What I’m charged for cost of fuel, generation, and transmission involved with producing electricity.
- Virginia State and Local Consumption Taxes and Local Utility Tax
How much will you lower your electricity bill this winter?