Winterizing can help you save big on electric bill

Published 10:56 am Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Winter is fast approaching: Time to weatherize your home. A few simple tips can help you save money on your electric bill.

Winter is fast approaching, and cold weather normally brings high electric bills. Whether the temperature outside is extremely hot or extremely cold, your home’s heating and cooling system needs to work extra hard.

During seasons of normally high electric bills, a little work beforehand could potentially save you some headaches and some money.

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There are a number of things that can be done regularly that cost no money at all and by doing so you can reduce the amount of unnecessary energy use.

Windows provide a great deal of beauty and entertainment for a home. They offer incredible views depending on where your home is located.

They also allow large amounts of cold air into your home if not properly insulated. During those winter sunny days, keep the blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to heat your home.

At night, shut the blinds to help insulate against the cold air. You can also place plastic on the inside or outside of your windows. Be sure to tape the plastic securely to prevent any air leaks.

Many homes in our area have traditional fireplaces, and these can potentially be huge energy losers.

When not using fireplaces be sure to close the damper as an open damper pulls heat out of the house and up the chimney. Before closing the damper, be sure that you don’t have any smoldering embers.

If you have a fireplace and don’t use it, block the chimney off with a piece of rigid insulation. Be sure the insulation fits snugly into the chimney to prevent any air leaks.

Don’t linger in the shower. Reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower can save hundreds of gallons of water per month for a family of four. Normally, showers account for roughly two thirds of a home’s water heating costs.

By cutting your shower time in half, you can potentially reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent.

If you live in a mobile home there are several steps you can take to lower your electric bills in the winter. Many older mobile homes do not have the best insulation, and it is recommended that you have your insulation checked by a professional.

Make sure that your return air duct is tightly sealed as outside air can be pulled in from the smallest crack. Since most ductwork in mobile homes is found under the home it is suggested that skirting be placed to at least ground level.

If possible, place the skirting a couple inches below ground level to get the most out of your heating and cooling systems. This method also helps to prevent small animals from damaging the duct system insulation or the ductwork itself.

By taking a few extra precautions you can start saving money on your electric bill today. For additional tips on how you can save electricity and money, visit

By taking the “Energy Savings Home Tour” on the website, you can easily calculate the amount of energy that you can potentially save simply by making a few minor adjustments in your home.


Bryan Long is the manager of Member Services for Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative. He can be reached at or 740.379.2025 ext. 131.