Knowing the In’s and Out’s of Your Thermostat

Knowing the In’s and Out’s of Your Thermostat
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    Winter is one of the hardest months, energy-wise.

    Even in Texas, a state most people think of as only being hot and mostly dry, winters can be difficult to deal with.


Luckily there are lots of ways that you can reduce your energy bills during the winter—without your having to spend any extra money to stay comfortable. Here are just a few of them.

1. Make sure you’re getting the best rate for your energy. Do some research on to make sure that you’re getting the best rate and that your money is going to an energy source that you feel morally okay with.

2. Turn the heat off when you leave the house. You turn off the lights when you leave the house, why wouldn’t you do the same with your heat?

3. Turn the heat down during the night. You don’t have to turn it off completely, but turning it down by quite a lot can still save you a lot of energy and money on the bill. You can easily put an extra blanket or wear extra layers of pajamas to bed to compensate.

4. Keep your thermostat five-ten degrees cooler than where you would normally like the ambient temperature to be. This reduces the amount of work that your thermostat has to do. You can easily wear an extra sweater our put on a hat to help yourself stay warm.

5. Wash your dishes in the sink and dry them on a rack instead of using the dishwasher. Not only does the machine cost money to run, it costs money to heat the water that gets used to clean your dishes and even more money if you use the “heated dry” option.

6. If at all possible, hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. You can hang them indoors in the winter in the laundry room or a space you aren’t using if it is too cold outside for them to dry properly.

7. Use natural light as much as you can. Only turn on the lights when the natural light stops being sufficient…and only where you will actually use it (example: using a table lamp when you want to read instead of an overhead light).

8. You probably have some heavy plastic sitting around somewhere from an old home improvement project or something else. Put that heavy plastic up over your windows on the inside of the house. This will prevent the heated air inside the house from leeching through the window and heating the outdoors. If you don’t have heavy plastic, use tin foil.

9. Do all of your laundry at once. This saves money because your washer and dryer won’t have to warm themselves back up. You can simply carry over the residual warmth from one load to the next. This should also help your clothes dry more quickly so you won’t have to run the dryer for nearly as long.

10. Turn it all off if you aren’t using it. The only appliances that really need to stay plugged in are your refrigerator and water heater. You can unplug everything else with relatively little hassle. This way you won’t have to worry about the phantom energy spikes that drive up your energy bill when you leave something plugged in even after you’ve turned it off. Use power strips to make this easier for you.

These are just some of the ways you can save money on your electric bill without spending any extra money. How many more can you think up?

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