RALEIGH, N.C. — As temperatures drop, energy bills tend to rise during the winter months. However, there are several low- to no-cost steps you can take to make your living space more energy-efficient while keeping costs down.
What You Need To Know
Heating can account for up to 50% of total energy usage, according to Duke Energy
Below are some low- to no-cost adjustments people can make to stay warm while cutting down on heating costs
Cleaning your heater’s air filters and sealing up air leaks can also help to save wasted energy
Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy suggests using the natural heating power of the sun by leaving blinds open on the sunny side of the house and closing them on the shady side or at night.
“It’s also really great to use that ceiling fan,” Brooks said. “If you turn it in a clockwise direction, it can actually help to pull that heat down from the ceiling that tends to congregate up high. That will help to make you feel more comfortable while also keeping your heating costs down some.”
He recommends checking the air filters on your furnace to make sure they're clean to avoid overworking the unit. That can shorten its life and increase your heating costs.
Lowering the thermostat will also help to lower costs. Every degree can help to lower costs, as heating homes can add up to 50% of energy usage.
“Every bit you go down on that thermostat is going to make a big difference,” Brooks said. “And if you’re going to be away for several hours during the day, set that thermostat further down. Because you can actually heat your home up fairly quickly, and you don’t need to run that heat all day for eight or nine hours if you’re not going to be in the home.”
For holiday lighting, Brooks recommends using LED lights to help keep your energy bill lower. They use a fraction of the energy of the traditional incandescent strands people used to use.
“They look the same, they’re beautiful, and they last a long time typically, and they save you a lot of energy,” Brooks said.
For more energy-saving tips and commonly asked questions, click here.