Fact: There are TONS of articles out there on how to save money in the winter, with energy efficiency tips. So….WHY am I writing a post about this common subject? Well, maybe I am cold today. And maybe I wanted to be reminded of ways to be warmer this winter. And maybe I hate spending money on boring things like ‘electricity.’ I suspect that you do too. So, why not have a quick refresher post on ways to reduce your energy consumption, which thereby also helps you have more money for things like delicious things like Brie Cheese?! And let’s not make this post like ‘all the others.’ Let’s make this the FUN version.
*Note: You’ll find that ‘Brie Cheese’ is capitalized throughout this post. That’s because I respect it. It DESERVES capitalization.
*Second Note: These tips are ordered from ‘most-fun’ to ‘most-boring.’
9 Easy Ways to Save Energy & Money this Winter
Tip # 1- Sweaters.
This one is my FAVOURITE. Purchase the coziest sweater you can find in all the land, and wear it all-day, everyday! What’s winter if you don’t get to put on a super cozy sweater? Heat up even more with fleece lined leggings (yaaaaassssss!!!), and cozy slippers (or slipper socks). If you insulate your body, you don’t have to crank the heat! Bam. More money for Brie cheese and hot tea!
Tip # 2 – Fire your snow plow driver
And shovel snow with your spouse. Pocket that money, and take advantage of the opportunity for romantic shoveling-in-the-big-fluffy-snowflakes together. Make a few snow angels while you’re at it. Then, use the cold as the perfect excuse to run inside and cuddle up in bed together. Added bonus is muscles! But what if you have no spouse? No problem. Simply ask your cute neighbour for help shoveling this winter. This one’s a double tip. You’re welcome.
Tip # 3 – Buy Cute Drapes
In the dark winter evenings, close your cute window coverings to keep the heat IN. You now can turn on low light and soft music, grab a book from your ‘I-really-want-to-read-but-I-don’t-have-time-pile,’ and munch on that dark chocolate you’ve been hiding in the spice cupboard.
Perhaps this room you’re reading in is one of the rooms you spend a lot of time in. If that’s the case, use that portable space heater to keep that room warm, and set your central furnace to a lower setting, to save more dollar bills.
In the daytime, chase away the winter blues by throwing open the window coverings (I highly recommend doing it as dramatically as you pictured it when you read it) and letting the hot, free sunshine heat your house! Again – double tip. You’re using free heat AND doing something for your mental health!
Tip #4 – Pull out your Caulking Gun
Drafty doors and windows are the greatest source of not only heat loss, but the introduction of cold air into your home. So, put on your tool belt, crank the music, and get busy sealing things up. Proper air sealing can result in cutting your energy use by as much as 20 – 40%. That’s a lot more Brie for you, gals!
Tip #5- Do Less Laundry
Yuuup! It’s true! Doing LESS loads of laundry saves you money. How do you do that, you ask? By only doing laundry when you have a full load. Don’t wash just a few things, here and there, on a constant basis. Do it when you can fill ‘er up! Same goes for the dishwasher. Jam pack that thing full before you turn it on. Then, make your kids unload it while you’re watching your brie wheel bake to perfection in the oven.
Tip #6 – Wash your hair less
Yesssssss! You’ve been waiting for this tip! Doing your hair is just too much WORK, amIright?! If you wash your hair less, you shower less.And if you shower less, you use less hot water. Did you know that hot water use can account for 20% of an average 3-4 person family’s annual energy bill? Who knew?
(Protip: if you’re showering less, you’re also cleaning the shower less!!!!)
Sadly, this tip also includes that you should take less baths. What a boring downer! Baths require a lot more hot water to fill up than a shower requires to run. *sigh* Told you, funnest to boring-est.
Switching to a water-efficient showerhead will also help you use about 50% less water. That equates to a savings of approximately $25 a year. That’s the equivalent to a pair of cute heels you found marked down at the end of the season for a STEAL.
You should also consider a timer when you shower, so it’s 10 minutes or less. I recommend creating a ‘shower playlist’ that runs less than 10 minutes, so you get in a power dance while you wash off!
Tip #7 – Use Star Power
If you need to replace old appliances and windows, replace them with Energy Star qualified ones. They are the best for using the least amount of power. Don’t worry about doing it all at once. You need equal amounts of money for your Brie Cheese addiction. So, do a little bit at a time, every year. Work yourself up to being a cool, responsible grown-up, k?
Tip #8 – Insulate
Now we get to the MOST ‘boring’ tip. Like sealing and insulating your attic hatch. It may be boring, but it works to keep the heat in. And the cold air out. Damp-proofing and insulating your basement is the #1 most boring way to reduce 25% of the heat loss in your home. This should have been tip #1, because it’s actually the most effective. But this article goes from funnest to boring-est. So.
Make sure you hire a knowledgeable company for this one, (paying for an expert pays off in this instance!) and get at least the minimum R rated insulation (it’s an insulation rating level, not a restricted movie, silly). If you can afford more than the minimum insulation right now, go for that, since it saves you in the long run!
Tip #9 – Let other people pay for these upgrades!
We’re ending on a fun tip, hooray! There are people out there who will help you pay for your energy-efficiency efforts. And I don’t mean your parents. Check with your hydro company and take advantage of any rebates, credits or grants they’re offering towards creating an energy efficient home. They’ll partially pay for things like lightbulbs, power bars, new windows, appliances, and insulation!