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Tips for Saving Energy in Your Home During an Unusually Cold Winter

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With unusual snow storms in the Northeast making traffic unbearable this November, you may be wondering how the rest of the winter will play out. Well, I hate to break it to you: we’ve been monitoring the weather forecasts for the season and things are not looking good for your heating bills.

The return of an El Niño weather pattern will have a huge impact on pretty much every region of the country this winter. According to AccuWeather, the unusually cold November this year is only the beginning: in January and February temperatures will take a dive in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic compared to last year.

Snow storms are also expected to hit hard in the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and the Gulf Coast. And in the Northwest and Rockies higher levels of snowfall are in the forecast.

Needless to say, no matter where you live, you’re going to need advice on how to save on your energy bills and still keep your house cozy and warm. Keep these tips in mind:

Get Better Appliances and Electronics

When you are buying replacement appliances for your house, prioritize energy efficiency. Don’t focus too much on the price tag in the store: think, how much will this cost me to run? Newer, more energy-efficient appliances can save you a lot on your overall energy cost. While it might not be a lot of money right away, it will add up over time, especially when combined with the other efforts mentioned here.

Furnaces and heaters can be the biggest energy consumers. We’ve designed the Envi Heater to help people save on their heating bills. Operating at as low as 4 cents per hour (may change depending on the price of electricity in your region), the Envi is the most efficient electric wall mounted heater on the market and will certainly help you cut down on your energy bill if you’re already using electricity based heating.

Audit Your Energy Usage

The first thing that you are going to want to do is find out where you’re spending the most: the energy-hogs of your home. When you do this, you are likely to find some very obvious ways that you can start cutting back on electrical usage. You can also audit your own behavior: look for those times that you are leaving lights on when you’re not in a room, or when you leave on the television, fans, and other electronics.

Also consider that you might be keeping the house a few degrees cooler or warmer than it really needs to be. Changing this by just a degree or two can present you with some real savings - it could be costing you more energy than you realize over the course of a month.

Look for the little things and start to change your habits. This can take a few months, but it will end up making a difference in the amount of money that you are paying for your energy.

Change the Lightbulbs

While this might seem like a small change, it can provide you with some real savings. By changing any incandescent bulbs that you have right now with energy saving bulbs, you will be cutting your electricity use and investing in lightbulbs that will last much longer than incandescent bulbs.

Weatherize Your Home

Weatherizing your home can help to make it more comfortable and more energy efficient. Heat and cold can flow freely between gaps in the doors, windows, and other spaces. Make sure there are no air leaks around the house, where you’re losing that warm air from your heating system and money with it.

To help remedy this, you can add weatherstripping to the doors and the windows and use caulk for air leaks around plumbing and ducting, and similar locations in the house. You can also install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates. If you have a chimney, you might want to get an inflatable chimney balloon that will seal up the chimney when not in use. Also make sure you have great insulation, even in the garage door.

Only Use the Heat or AC When Needed

Many people overuse their heat in the winter and their AC in the summer. They run them all day long, even when there is no one at home, and thus spend quite a bit more on their energy than needed. Make it a point to lower your thermostats or turn them off entirely if no one is going to be in the house during the day.

Now, that means when you get home, you’ll have to wait a couple hours for the house to get cozy again, right? Wrong! Install panel wall heaters, like the Envi, in the most popular rooms of the house - panel wall heaters can heat up a room in mere minutes, making them an excellent compliment to a central heating system.

Use these and other tips to reduce your overall expenditure on energy. With a little dedication and discipline, see the savings roll in little by little, helping you achieve your financial goals.

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