Americans should expect to pay around 30% more for natural gas this winter, the steepest rise in decades. Several factors are responsible for this steep rise, including the Ukrainian conflict, supply chain disruptions, and increased US exports.
Although you will be facing higher energy bills well into 2023, you can take steps to reduce the amount you pay. Basic energy-saving tips can save you hundreds of dollars in the next few months.
Lower Your Thermostat
If your body temperature runs cold, this tip is your least favorite. However, setting your thermostat to 68 instead of 72 will save you significant money. In fact, you will pay nearly 3% less for every degree you lower the setting. Wearing multiple layers of clothing and cuddling up under a blanket instead of burning more fuel will make your energy bills less painful.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Like many consumers, you may be confused about how to use your ceiling fans. You should run them on low during winter with the blades running clockwise. Most fans have a switch that allows you to make this change easily. A clockwise spin will pull cool air up from the floor and push down the warm air near the ceiling. Your rooms will stay warmer without turning up the thermostat.
Insulate Doors and Windows
Every nick and crack in your door and window sills lets in cold air and means your furnace will run more. If your windows are old, the panes may need a layer of insulation as well. Basic insulating supplies are available at every home improvement and big box store. Also, if you aren’t worried about pretty windows, you can use bubble wrap to keep out the cold air. It’s worth the awkward look for a few months of energy savings.
Upgrade Your Heating System
If you have an older system, replacing it will save you money in the long term. Also, you can take advantage of a tax credit for a new, energy-efficient furnace through 2023. Not everyone can afford this option currently, but if you’ve been planning to buy, doing so now would lower your winter fuel bill.
You won’t escape higher bills in 2023, but you can minimize the damage by following these tips. For more energy advice, talk to your heating professionals.