Tomorrow is the first day of winter and the beginning of many long, cold months ahead. But while you’re digging your coats out of storage and stocking up for the snowy weather, there’s another element that may be affected by the cold temperatures – your wallet.
New Yorker ratepayers have some of the highest electricity bills in the country, and these rates become even higher in the winter. According to Con Edison, this winter’s energy bills are estimated to rise by about 8.6 percent from last year, due to higher delivery rates.
However, some simple energy-savings tips can help to lower your energy costs over the next several months. Check them out here and below:
Swap out your shades
Switch out light-colored curtains for dark ones that absorb the sun’s energy and release heat into your home.
Upgrade your water heater
Did you get your heater before 2000? Replacing it with a newer model will take the strain off your energy bill.
Turn off the lights
Indoor lights account for nearly 15 percent of energy costs. Remember to flip the switch on your way out a room or the house when you leave.
Clean air ducts and vents
Dusty air vents aren’t just a harbor for allergies – they also make your heating system work harder to warm your home. Cleaning out the vents and duct filters will help your heating system run better and last longer.
Fill up the dishwasher
Less-than-full loads in your dishwasher add up. Also, putting the dishwasher on a basic cleaning cycle and choosing to air-dry or hand-dry dishes will save money on each load.
Lower your thermostat
Each degree over 63º can increase energy usage by 3 percent. So, throw a sweater on to take the chill off rather than cranking up the heat.