Winter can be such a beautiful time of year, but hard on your wallet. Don’t worry if you can’t afford major improvement projects to make your home more energy efficient. Keep your money in the bank by using these tips to help save on energy costs this winter.

Use blankets in Winter

Bundle up in long sleeves, sweatshirts, warm socks and slippers. Keeping your home even just a few degrees cooler than normal can add up to big savings. Place plenty of big and soft blankets around the house on beds, couches, and arm chairs. Switch out bed sheets to thicker warm ones, such as flannel. No one enjoys walking on cold hardwood, concrete, or tiles floors; area or throw rugs are a great way to eliminate cold surfaces.

If you haven’t yet, invest in a programmable thermostat. To rack up savings, we recommend scheduling so it’s 7-10 degrees cooler when you’re not at home and when sleeping. Most people spend a good portion of the day at work, so don’t heat a house you’re not in. You should also take advantage of natural lighting to help heat your home. Be sure to open curtains during the day to allow the sun to shine through, but remember to close them at night to trap the heat in.

Adjust your fan in the winter

Hot air rises, which isn’t helpful in these cold winter months. Make sure your ceiling fans are adjusted so they run in clockwise, sending that wonderful warm air back down and ensuring the air is properly circulated. Getting tricked into thinking your home is colder than it really is means money out of your pocket.

After using the oven, take advantage of the free heat! Leave the door cracked to let the heat escape into your kitchen and nearby rooms, taking some of the pressure off your furnace.

Check the vents in your home for any furniture or items in the way. Covered vents are unable to properly deliver heat throughout your home. If you don’t use a room often, consider closing the vent in that spaces so the heat can be redirected. You don’t want any heat to go to waste.

Kitchen Exhaust

As helpful as kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are to remove unwanted odors, smoke, and excess moisture, they also get rid of a lot of hot air. If you want to save money, you should use them sparingly during the winter.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to save on heating/energy costs. Work with what you have until you can afford those bigger changes later. All of these common-sense tips should cost a couple dollars and take only minutes to do.

Check out our tips on how to prepare your home for winter for more ways to get your home ready for these long and cold months!

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency offers a lot of benefits: lower energy bills, lower environmental impact, and even increased home value. This Earth Day consider some of these energy-saving tips for your home that will save you money and reduce your environmental footprint.

Replace Your Light Bulbs

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends about 5% of its energy budget on lighting. If you haven’t switched to CFL or LED light bulbs yet, now is the time to do it. These bulbs use 75-80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. Energy-efficient light bulbs will pay for themselves over time, and you won’t have to sacrifice brightness or light quality.

Clean (or Replace) Your Air Conditioner

Homeowners in the U.S. spend about $11 billion every year on home cooling. By switching to a high efficiency air conditioner, you can cut your air conditioning energy use by 20-50%! If a new air conditioner isn’t in the budget this year, make sure to properly maintain your current one. Check your air filters once a month and replace them as needed. If you have central air conditioning, remember to inspect your ductwork and make sure it’s properly sealed and connected. Click here for more energy-saving air conditioning tips.

Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines make up about 13% of your energy costs. Check your refrigerator’s temperatures. The recommended temperature for your refrigerator is around 35°-38° F. The recommended temperature for your freezer is 0° F. Also, washing your clothes in cold water can save on water heating costs. Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are full before you turn them on, to avoid wasting water. Click here for more tips on using your household appliances efficiently.

Reducing your home’s energy use will help you save money on your heating, water, and electricity bills. It can also help you get more money for your house when it’s time to sell. Homes with energy efficient features have resale values about 9% higher than similar homes without these features. If you’re interested in moving or refinancing soon, talk to one of our licensed Loan Originators today to get started.