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It’s no secret that energy costs tend to spike in the wintertime. Households turn on the heat to keep their family and friends warm, as well as protect their pipes from freezing.
Winter temperatures can change drastically from one day or week to the next, making it hard to anticipate your energy costs each month. That variable impacts your ability to stay on track with your budget and overall financial plan.
Fortunately, there are a few simple changes you can make to help reduce your home’s energy costs and, as a result, stick to your financial plan.
Do you turn the heat down when you leave the house? That’s a smart idea to help cut back on your energy usage. However, drastically dropping the temperature can put more strain on your heating system when you return home and crank the dial back up. Don’t increase or decrease the temperature by more than five degrees. This allows you to realize the cost benefits of lowering your energy usage but doesn’t overwork your heating system at the same time.
You can make these changes manually each day or you can automatically set these preferences if you have a programmable thermostat.
Sure, this is smart to keep your home or apartment secure, but it also ensures they’re closed as tight as possible. Doing so can reduce drafting and therefore reduce energy costs.
Want to take it a step further? Cover your windows with clear plastic film to cut down on the heat escaping your home. This plastic film is inexpensive and easy to set up. Plus, if done correctly, you’ll barely notice it’s there!
Daylight is a scarcity in the winter months, causing you to turn on the lights in your home more often each day. Having efficient LED light bulbs can have a big impact on your energy costs. After all, energy-efficient light bulbs can use anywhere from 25% to 85% less energy than traditional light bulbs and last 3 to 25 times longer.
The weather stripping you use for your doors and windows can get worn and damaged — typically by pets — which is another source of drafting.
A good rule of thumb is to replace weather stripping every few years.
Implementing any of the above practices can help reduce your energy costs in the winter and thus keep your budget in line. You could take it a step further and seek a home energy assessment to find other ways to save on your energy costs.
The cold is not for everyone, but cutting costs should be!
We are committed to helping you reach your potential by providing personalized solutions. Our dedicated colleagues can help you keep your budget in line throughout the year. To learn more, please call 1-877-360-2472, visit us online, or schedule a Citizens Checkup at your nearest Citizens Bank branch.
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