Everyone has their reason for trying to save on energy: whether it be to save a little money on your bills or reduce your carbon footprint to be a little more green. Listen, we’re not here to judge, we think any reason is a good reason. Your savings could be huge, Quicken.com stated utilities are renters’ second biggest monthly expense after rent.

Heating and cooling your home in the Chicago Region can eat up a majority of your utility bills. Fortunately, some easy solutions will reduce your energy bills this winter.

  1. Utilize Free Heat
  2. Although the temperature outside feels frigid, the sun can still be a great source of heat. Find the curtains on the south side of your home and leave them open. Leaving the south side of your home exposed to sunlight during daylight hours will add extra heat to your home. Once the sun goes down it is important to close the curtains to keep the extra heat trapped.

  3. Spin Clockwise
  4. If you have ceiling fans in your home it is important to notice which way they are spinning. If they’re spinning counterclockwise, turn off your fan and switch the rotation clockwise (the switch should be located somewhere on the base). By switching the rotation of the fan to counterclockwise you’re allowing your fan to pull the cool air up off the floor. The small updraft from the fan pushes the warm air on the ceiling out down the walls and back along the floor.

  5. Setback Your Thermostat
  6. If you’re like most people and work a 9-5 job, it’s time to start setting your thermostat back while you are away. The US Department of Energy states that if you set your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day you could save as much as 10% on your utility bills. Thinking through this more you have another chance to save while you sleep. Although it may not be comfortable to sleep with the temperature down 7-10 degrees you can still set it back a couple of degrees to increase your energy savings. If you have an inconsistent schedule, it may be wise to look into a WiFi thermostat to keep your thermostat setback when you have longer days at work.

    Need a programmable thermostat? We’ve got you covered here.

  7. Keep Your Furnace Clean
  8. Keeping your furnace clean and properly maintained will keep your unit running at its highest efficiency helping you save. Also, now might be a good time for your monthly filter check. If your filter looks a little on the clogged side.

    If you need help picking out your filter we have a little guide to help you through the process here.

  9. Insulate
  10. Heating and air-conditioning your home is done with a purpose; to keep your home comfortable. So this begs the question why let all of that conditioned air escape? Investing in insulation can keep more of your conditioned air in your home which means less A/C and furnace runtime. Also, it is a good idea to find some weather stripping at your local hardware store for your windows and doors.

  11. Move to LED
  12. Buy LED lights, the US Department of Energy explains they use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last 25 times longer. So the little extra you might pay upfront will pay off in the end.

  13. Humidify Your Home
  14. It’s not a secret during the winter months your home dries out. As winter drags on you begin to notice your skin drying out, more and more static shocks, and the wood around your home shriveling up. An easy solution is to add a humidifier. Not only will a humidifier alleviate all of the problems mentioned before, but it will allow you to keep your thermostat set to a lower temperature. Humidified air feels significantly warmer than dry air, and it will help cut your gas bills.

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