Stream Energy: How to Save Energy During a Cold WinterNovember 28, 2019
This year, Stream Energy customers and other people across the United States will most likely face a cold, challenging winter with plenty of snow, rain, and frosty weather. But instead of facing sky-high bills thanks to heating, many will try a variety of tricks to keep their houses and apartments warm in the face of the chilly season.
This winter, make smart choices about energy. Your rewards will be lower energy bills, a more comfortable home, and the calm feeling of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to preserve energy. Here are some ways to do that:
Have you ever cooked a meal on the stovetop or oven on a hot summer day and after sweating long after the oven was turned off, thought, “Why did I do that?” You’re definitely not alone. However, when the temperature drops and it gets cold outside, it’s time to cook and simultaneously warm up your house.
The best way to preserve energy and warm up your surroundings is to cook more than one item at once. Have multiple items that can cook, broil, or bake in the oven at once? Put them all in there. And when you’re done cooking all of your food, keep the oven door open. The oven will cool down eventually, but in the meantime, you can enjoy the heat that radiates as the oven or stovetop goes back to normal temperature.
Another tip is to use the right size of ring for the pot or skillet you’re using. There’s no need to put a giant pot on a small burner or a small pot on a giant burner. Neither will do a great job of evenly heating your food, and both will cause your energy bills to go up.
Close Doors Inside the House
When it’s cold outside, there’s a huge emphasis on keeping exterior doors closed. After all, by keeping them open, you’re inviting cold air, snow, and cold moisture into your home. Many Stream Energy customers understand, however, that keeping interior doors shut is just as important.
Do you have a door that leads to the kitchen from the living room or from the hallway to the bedroom? Keep those doors shut. By keeping those doors closed, you’ll preserve energy and conserve heat.
In the summer when it’s hot, beyond turning on air conditioning or fans, there’s little that you can do to cool down your body. However, in the winter, you can always scale up and keep adding more and more layers of clothing to keep yourself warm. Grab a warm blanket, throw on a sweater, add some wooly socks to the mix, and you’ll be able to manage the cold.
By adding layers and using more blankets, you’ll be able to use less heat. Heating takes a huge chunk out of electric bills in the winter, so by going without it or setting it to a different level, you can save a lot of money.
Keep a Full Refrigerator
It seems like it would use far more energy to chill a full refrigerator than one that doesn’t have much food in it, but that’s not the case. The more full your refrigerator is, the less energy is necessary to cool things down. So, instead of keeping your fridge empty, if you can fill it with food to conserve energy, you should.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances
Look around the room you’re in now. You probably have a lot of appliances plugged in that you’re not using at the moment. Did you know that even though these items are not being used, they’re still drawing energy by staying plugged in? All of those devices plugged into the wall are sucking a little bit of electricity, even when they’re not on. Be honest with yourself about your appliances. Do an inventory of what’s not needed right now, and unplug it. You’ll see some savings on your bill.
Use Heavy Curtains
Your curtains should be more than just decorations for your house; they should help keep your condo, apartment, or home warm (or cool). Invest in thick curtains for your windows this winter. Put them up, and use them strategically. Cold outside? Close the curtains. The thick curtains will keep the heat inside and the cold out. Too warm inside? Open the curtains. Let cooler air in, and close the curtains when you’re ready to warm up again. Beyond insulation for your attic and walls, curtains are one of the most effective items for preserving heat. Decorate your windows and see the energy saving costs come in.
Tackle Drafty Windows and Doors
Did you know that even an inch of an open window can let in an extraordinary amount of cold air? What about drafty windows or the bottoms of doors? There are many ways to let drafts into your homes, and that extra cold air just makes your boiler or heating system work harder. Instead, go around your doors and windows and use weather-proofing strips to keep out cold air. Do this around window sills, frames, doors, and more. For a door that lets a lot of cold air in by the floor, go for draft stoppers. You can buy these online or at your local hardware store, and they’re an affordable way to keep cold air out and warm air in.
This winter, plan ahead by preparing your house for the cold months to come. Like many Stream Energy customers, take winter seriously, and stay toasty when the temperature drops.