There is nothing quite like the end of daylight savings time to truly remind us that summer is officially over and fall has arrived to usher in the cold winter season. Fewer hours of sunlight combined with colder mornings and evenings, and suddenly the electricity bill is up significantly from one month to another – and it’s only the beginning. Here are five tips to lower your utility bills while still keeping warm without living in the dark.
LED Light Bulbs
If you haven’t already made the switch to a green lifestyle, now is the time to do so. Not only will this allow you to embrace an eco-friendlier way of life, but you’ll also pay less to enjoy the same basic things you do now – such as turning on the lights when the sun sets. It’s also easy to implement and doesn’t require any changes to your rental; all you have to do is replace your regular light bulbs with LED ones. To make it even more homey and add additional light, hang decorative LED lights in various parts of your house.
Sipping on tea while sitting next to a burning candle is one of the most common things one associates fall and winter with. Lighting candles throughout your home is a great way to diffuse a fall scent, like pumpkin spice, spiced cider, or marshmallow fireside, to name a few, and they also provide just enough light to get the basics done around your home. Whether it’s walking to the kitchen, bathroom, or finding a blanket or snacks for watching a movie, candles can easily light the way, without having to turn on the lights.
Blankets and pillows
In addition to being a great way to decorate, blankets and pillows can make you and your rental feel warm and cozy. There is nothing quite like watching a movie, with a mug filled with tea or hot chocolate in your hands, and being wrapped up in the biggest and fluffiest of blankets once fall sets in. Throw pillows also allow you to sit more comfortably and can really tie a place together with all the colorful patterns available. With the electricity bill expected to go up, as turning on the heat becomes a necessity, blankets and pillows can keep you warm without having to constantly turn the heat on high – which bring us to the next tip.
Turning on the heat
As much as we like our home to constantly be warm, having the heat turned on too high is not the most practical option for the electricity or gas bill. For this reason, it’s best to set the thermostat on a decent, but lower, temperature when you’re not at home, and only turning it up when getting home or when it feels too cold. This avoids overheating your home and having to experience the abrupt change of temperature when stepping outside into the cold. Furthermore, layering and using the blankets mentioned above, will keep you warm without having to overpay for heat.
Airing out and using sunlight to your advantage
Although you used to leave the windows open in the summer, you can’t do the same in the winter. But you still need to air out your home. This is best done during the morning or daytime, when there’s still daylight out and the temperatures are near the high for the day. If you aren’t home during the day, consider cracking open a couple of windows in the morning as you get ready to start your day, to let the fresh air in. However, don’t forget to close them when you leave and open curtains or blinds so that any sunlight can make it through your windows and warm up your home as much as possible.
With summer still fresh in our minds, it’s not easy to accept that fall has arrived, and winter is just around the corner. However, enjoying the little things fall has to offer and focusing on how to make your home a warm shelter in the midst of the cold can help ease our transition to the cold-weather months ahead.