Winter is an especially expensive time when it comes to energy costs in the home. Regardless of the environmental benefits, saving energy in times of increasing living costs and high energy prices means we all need to find ways to reduce our energy consumption. Therefore, how to save energy during winter is becoming a necessity for many people.
Below we list some top tips for cutting down on the amount of energy we use in everyday life. Some are applicable all year and may seem simple and obvious but when combined can lead to significant savings on your energy bill.
1. Get a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats can save you up to 30% on your heating bill by automatically adjusting the temperature of your home based on whether anyone is home or not.
2. Dress Warmly Indoors
Wearing a sweater indoors can actually help you feel warmer while also saving energy.
3. Take Shorter Showers
Heating water uses a lot of energy, so if you can reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower, you’ll be using less energy overall.
4. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Washing your clothes in hot water uses a lot of energy, so switch to cold water instead and you’ll save money on your utility bills.
5. Line Dry Your Clothes
It may take longer to dry clothes outside during the winter months but when there is a dry day take advantage. It’s a great way to save energy.
6. Plug Electronics Into Power Strips
Using power strips is an easy hack to allow you to turn off the power to multiple devices when they’re not in use.
7. Replace Incandescent Light Bulbs
Swap out old light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. They last longer and use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
8. Use A Dimmer Switch
Use a dimmer switch in conjunction with energy-saving light bulbs to further reduce your energy usage.
9. Drive Less
Use your feet, keep warm and exercise by walking, cycling, or taking public transportation more.
10. Make Sure Your Home Is Well Insulated
Add insulation in roof spaces and insulate your water heater and pipes to prevent heat loss.
11. Defrost Food In The Refrigerator
It’s better to take food out of the freezer the night before and defrost it in the fridge instead of on the stovetop.
12. Install A Tankless Water Heater.
It isn’t very energy efficient to heat a whole tank of water. Even with the best insulation heat reduces in the tank over time. Change to a tankless water heater for greater efficiency.
13. Turn The Water Off While Brushing Your Teeth
It only takes a few seconds to wet your toothbrush. Turn the water off while you brush!
14. Install A Low-Flow Showerhead
A low-flow showerhead will help to save water and energy while you shower.
15. Only Run The Dishwasher When It’s Full.
It’s more energy-efficient to use a dishwasher when full otherwise you will end up running it more often and using more energy than necessary.
16. Scrape Dishes
Instead of rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher scrape them clean or use a cloth to get rid of the majority of food stuck to them.
17. Set Your Refrigerator To The Right Temperature
Keep it clean and uncluttered so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool food properly.
18. Seal Drafts Around Doors And Windows
Use weather stripping or caulk to keep heat from escaping in winter.
19. Use A Slow Cooker Or Pressure Cooker
Use these instead of the oven whenever possible, they use energy much more efficiently.
20. Use Smart Home Appliances
Smart appliances like Philips Hue lights allow you to schedule times for switching appliances and lights on and off.
21. Educate Your Family
Telling your friends and family about conserving energy and encouraging them to do the same will keep being energy conscious in their minds as well.
22. Get An Energy Audit
Energy audits of your home can help to find out where you can save energy and money.
23. Consider Solar Panels
Adding solar panels for your home or business will pay for the initial investment quickly in savings. You might not get as much sun in the winter but modern solar panels are surprisingly efficient.
24. Use Geothermal Heating
Geothermal heating may not be as popular but are very efficient – they use the earth’s constant temperature to minimize heating and cooling costs.
25. Turn Off Electronics And Appliances
Make sure to turn off electrical appliances when you’re not using them, and unplug them from the outlet if possible. Some appliances left on standby – like TV sets – use a surprising amount of electricity.
26. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
When it’s time to replace old ones. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for new electronics and appliances – they use less energy overall and will save you money in the long run.
27. Fill Up The Sink With Soapy Water
Instead of letting the water run while you wash dishes by hand filling a bowl will use less
28. Adjust Your Hot Water
Change the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit – it uses less energy and can prevent scalding accidents, too!
29. Use The Microwave Instead Of The Oven
Whenever possible use the microwave as it uses less energy and heats up food faster.
30. Don’t Leave The Fridge Or Freezer Door Open
The longer you leave the door open the more it lets the cold air out and wastes energy.
31. Clean Your Fridge Coils Regularly
Cleaning the coils will help them from getting clogged and working harder than they need to.
32. Only Cook As Much Food As You Need
This one may be obvious but it saves energy and prevents waste, too.
33. Cover Pots And Pans
Cover your cooking pans with lids while cooking to trap heat and cook food faster.
34. Keep Your Oven Door Closed
Keep the door closed as much as possible while cooking to prevent heat from escaping and wasting energy.
35. Turn Off The Stovetop Burner Before The Food Is Finished
Turn off your stove or oven before the allotted time is up – food will continue cooking even after the heat is turned off!
36. Reduce Your Reliance On Electronic Devices
Throw away the electric can opener. Being too reliant on devices uses a lot of energy, even when they’re not in use in some cases.
37. Charge Your Devices During Off-Peak Hours
This saves energy and money, too.
38. Use A Laptop Instead Of A Desktop
Using a laptop computer uses less energy overall.
39. Use Natural Light
Instead of artificial lighting whenever possible use natural light. It’s better for your eyes and uses less energy.
40. Use The Sun
In the winter, open curtains or blinds during the day to let in the sun’s warmth and save on heating costs.
41. Use Task Lighting
Wherever possible use task lighting instead of overhead lighting. It’s more efficient and can help reduce eye strain.
42. Creative Lighting
Get creative with your lighting. There are all sorts of ways to save energy and still have great lighting in your home.
43. Solar Lighting
Consider solar-powered lights for your outdoor space. They’re environmentally friendly and don’t require any electricity to operate.
44. Don’t Over-Dry
Don’t over-dry your clothes. Take them out of the dryer while they’re still slightly damp to save energy and extend the life of your clothing.
45. Correct Detergent Dosing
Use the correct amount of detergent in your dishwasher, too much can actually make your dishes dirtier and use more energy.
46. Defrost Often
Defrost your freezer regularly. Ice build-up makes it work harder and uses more energy.
47. Use The Crisper Drawer
Store fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer. It’s designed to keep them fresh longer while using less energy.
48. Fridge Leaks
Check for leaks in your fridge and freezer regularly, even a small leak can waste a lot of energy.
49. Turn It Down
Turn down heaters and radiators in unused rooms to the minimum to prevent frost and close the doors. This will save you from unnecessarily heating unused space in your home.
50. Ceiling Fans
Use ceiling fans, not only do fans help keep you cool during the summer they can also help to circulate warm air in the winter.
51. Modern Christmas Holiday Lighting
Ditch those old Christmas holiday lights and buy some modern LED Christmas lights.
52. Timer Switches
Use timer switches plugged into power sockets to turn the power off to older devices that don’t have built-in low-power modes.
53. Keep Your Furnace Maintained
Keep your heating furnace well maintained and get it serviced regularly to ensure it works at its most efficient.
54. Get Rid Of The Lint In Your Dryer
Clean the lint filter in your dryer regularly to help the efficiency of the dryer.
55. Don’t Overfill
Don’t overfill pans with water for food you are trying to boil. Boiling more water than necessary uses more energy. Only fill to the level of the contents in the pan.
56. Use SMART Features Where Possible.
Make sure smart features like auto-brightness adjustment are enabled on your TV to keep power usage at a minimum.
Make sure auto-power off settings are enabled on any devices that have the feature. They might be labeled as “low-power mode’ or ‘battery saver’.
Check to see if your water heater has an Eco-mode or other smart features to reduce energy consumption.
59. Use A TV Box Not A Game Console
Don’t use game consoles to watch streaming videos. Many gaming consoles are crammed with lots of features but are more power-hungry than streaming TV boxes like Roku or Apple TV. Watching Netflix on console devices could be using more power than necessary!
60. Light-Weight Drying
Consider drying light-weight clothes first in the dryer as they will dry quickly and help raise the temperature. for drying the heavier items
61. Use A SMART Meter
If your energy provider offers a smart meter get one installed. You can use it to discover any “Energy Vampire” devices by switching off devices one by one to see if the energy consumption drops.
62. Fix Those Drips
Make sure you fix any dripping faucets, especially hot ones fed by your water heater.
63. Skip Drying
If your dishwasher has a separate dryer cycle, skip it and hand dry your dishes. Drying is one of the most expensive functions of using a dishwasher.
64. Ditch The Second Fridge
If you have a second fridge that you use in the summer months make sure you unplug it during the winter months. Alternatively, if you just use it to chill drinks, freeze a pitcher of water and place it in the fridge.
65. Use The Right Pans
When cooking on a stovetop don’t put large pans on the large rings as this wastes energy. Use a pan that just covers the ring you are using.
66. Thermal Curtains
Use thicker thermally insulating curtains at your windows during the winter months to help keep the heat in.
67. Fire Screens
If you have an open fire adding a tempered glass screen in front will absorb heat from the fire and radiate it into the room rather than have it escape up the chimney.
68. Draft Proof Your Chimney
Block up any unused chimneys with a chimney draft excluder like a flueblocker or a chimney damper to reduce heat from disappearing up them.
69. Hand Washing
Try hand washing your clothes, especially if you only have a small number to wash.
70. Efficient Vents
Ensure that drapes don’t block your furnace vents, this makes the furnace less efficient and makes it work harder using more energy.
71. Heat Exchangers
Add a fan and heat reclaimer setup to your open fire to reclaim some of the heat that would otherwise go up the chimney.
72. Turn Off The Wifi
Use a timer switch to turn off your broadband router at night.
73. Efficient Office
If you have a home office make sure to turn off printers, monitors, and any other devices at the socket. A lot of devices have an eco-mode or battery saver mode but leaving them switched on at the plug still draws energy.
74. Switch To LED
Use LED bulbs instead of CFLs or incandescent ones, they use up to 75% less energy and if you choose a good make will last for up to 25,000 hours.
75. Use A Rug
If you have hard floors try adding warm rugs to insulate your feet from the cold floor.
76. Clean Pans
Make sure the bottom of your pans are clean and make full contact with the stovetop. This will ensure efficient energy transfer through the pan to heat the contents.
77. Efficient Wood Burning
If you have an open wood-burning fire make sure you only burn seasoned wood. Green wood does not burn efficiently and creates more polluting smoke.
78. Switch To Efficient Heating
Although open fires are a pleasant feature, they are not very efficient. Try installing a gas or electric heater to bring your energy usage down. Also, switch to a gas water heater as they are almost always less expensive to run. However, there are benefits and drawbacks to each. Use this energy cost calculator to work out the best water heater for you.
79. Insulating Door Stops
Use insulating fabric door stops at the bottom of doors, especially ones that lead outside or to unheated rooms. This will prevent heat loss.
80. Use Space Heaters
Consider switching off your heating and use a space heater only in the rooms you occupy.
81. Sealed Heating Ducts
Make sure your heating ducts are sealed. If necessary, bring in professionals to make sure your ducts are leak-free and well insulated.
82. Clean Furnace Filters
If you have a furnace, make sure to change or clean filters regularly. This will make them more efficient. If possible, buy reusable filters.
83. Cover The Air-Con
If you have window-mounted air conditioning units, make sure they are sealed off with an insulating cover in the winter to prevent them from leaking cold air into the house.
84. Clothes Drying Efficiently
If you have to use a clothes dryer consider only drying those clothes that need to be dried this way. Reducing the amount of clothing in a dryer will significantly reduce the amount of energy used. Also, try giving clothes an extra spin in the washing machine. This will help to remove the most amount of water possible and reduce the energy used in your dryer.
85. Turn Your Fridge Temperature Up
Make sure you turn the temperature up in your fridge during the winter months. Your fridge shouldn’t need to work as hard when it’s cooler weather.
86. Take Advantage Of Off-Peak
Run appliances like dishwashers and washing machines at off-peak times.
87. Take A Shower
Take a shower rather than fill the bathtub. Although soaking in the tub is nice try to limit this in order to save energy heating all of that water.
88. Batch Cooking
Consider batch cooking meals and freezing them. Not only will you save energy but you will never be short on what to eat for dinner.
89. Use a Thermos Flask
Rather than repeatedly boiling a kettle try storing hot water in a thermos for the next time you want hot water for a drink.
90. Air-Con Maintenance
Keep your air-com filters clear if you use air-con in the winter months. This helps with overall efficiency and reduces your energy consumption as well as keeping your air fresh.
91. Efficient Energy
If you haven’t compared your energy tariff recently check that you are on the most efficient and cost-saving energy plan for your level of energy consumption.
92. Renew Old Inefficient Appliances
Don’t hold on to older appliances just because they haven’t broken down yet. You could be paying over the odds to run them each year vs buying a new energy efficient-model.
93. Place Your Furniture With Heat In Mind
Putting your couch in front of a heat source is going to block the heat from circulating around the room so make sure your room layout has energy efficiency in mind.
94. Don’t Block Your Heaters
Don’t put clothes racks full of wet washing in front of a heater or radiator. A significant amount of energy is going to be absorbed by turning that water to vapor.
95. Don’t Overfill Your Kettle
Don’t add more water than you need to a kettle each time you boil it. Only add as much as you need.
96. Heating Fan Set On Auto
Set your heating thermostat fan setting to auto to ensure that it only runs during the heating cycle.
97. Efficient Glazing
Make sure your double glazing is energy efficient. Older window units break down over time and lose their efficiency.
98. Smart Valves
If your home has radiators fit smart valves to enable unused rooms to have the heat turned off at the touch of a mobile app button.
99. Place Portable Thermostats In The Right Place
If you have a portable wireless heating thermostat place it in the room you are using rather than a cold hall. This will ensure you only heat to the level required in the room you are occupying.
We hope this list of tips was helpful in getting you started on saving energy around your home. You can make a big difference by implementing even just a few of these tips. It all starts with making the commitment to save energy, so get started today and see how much you can save!