December 21, 2008. With the first day of winter on the horizon, we're all going to be spending more time indoors and that means rising energy bills to keep warm. Here's a few simple tips you can start to save a few extra bucks while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time.
1. Natural light. Open your curtains and take advantage of the sunshine during the day and you won't have the need for many lamps to be on. Just don't forget to shut them up at night to keep your home insulated.
2. Close your gaps. Drafty windows usually mean there is a gap around the window sill and this will allow air to leak in and out. Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to add to your windows and doors. You should be able to cover the costs in a month or two of energy savings.
3. Switch your current showerhead to a low-flow model. By adding air into the water stream you'll be using less water and your water heater won't have to work so hard.
Well, an anonymous reader found an even better deal: A low-flow showerhead by Real Goods that has a flow rate of 1.2 gallon/minute and a "pause" button that allows you to stop the water while soaping up or applying shampoo (and the price is $12!). – Treehugger.com
4. Replace your existing thermostat with a programmable thermostat. This is easy to install and should cost less than $50.
5. Wrap your water heater in a blanket. Insulating your water heater is fast and efficient. The energy savings will pay for it in no time.
6. Check your water heater's temperature. If you're water heater is heating water to anything above 120 degrees Farenheit you're just wasting energy. Turn the setting down and it's a quick and simple way to save money on your heating bills this winter.
With the rising costs of energy bills, it's never too early to start looking for ways to be more Earth friendly. Hopefully these tips will keep you warm and toasty this winter and keep that extra cash in your wallet. If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share them.