Monday, September 16, 2013

Winter is coming: Carver's guide to saving money during the cold months

It’s about that time of year, again, when the days start to get a little cooler, and the nights may even become chilly.  September, October, and November are my favorite time of year.  The leaves begin to change color, the air gets cooler, and the humidity begins to break.  We don’t really have the most brutal winters here at UT Tyler, but it does get pretty cold by Texas standards, and with this cold comes a couple of costly issues, like heating, and having to use more artificial lighting.  Thus, I have decided to compile a list of helpful tips to help you survive the brutal Texas winter.

·         Adjust your lighting
This won’t be your biggest problem, but it does get darker earlier during the winter, so you will begin to have to use your lights a little more, and your electricity bill will likely get a little higher.  To counteract this, try replacing your light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs to minimize electricity use.  This will save you some money.

·         Start getting ready to layer your clothing
Obviously, it will begin to get a little colder.  If you aren’t prepared to start layering your clothing, then maybe start buying jackets, long sleeve shirts, and jeans.  If you start purchasing one item at a time now, then you will be perfectly prepared by December.

·         Set your thermostat lower than what you want
During the summer, you have to be careful about setting your thermostat too low because it is so hot outside.  However, the winter creates the exact opposite situation.  No one likes a freezing house, but if you set your temperature a few degrees lower than what you really want, then you will save more than you might think!

·         Prepare vehicles and such 
Automobiles are extremely susceptible to issues during cold weather.  For one, purchase an ice scraper to get frost off of your windshield in the morning.  Additionally, you should check your car’s tires, coolant, and brakes to make sure everything can withstand the drop in temperature.

·         If you plan to travel, pack accordingly 
If you travel during the winter, then read weather forecasts for the places you will be traveling and make sure you are prepared for the area.  Don’t dress for a Texas winter if you’re going to be in New York for Christmas.

·         Seal any leaks in your doors or windows
Make sure that your doors and windows properly seal the cold weather outside, otherwise your electricity bills will go through the roof, and it will be way too cold to be inside. 

·         Prepare plants, pets, and what have you for cold weather.
If you have pets or plants that stay outside during the day, you may want to consider moving them inside, or providing some form of shelter from the cold like a dog house, or maybe even a sweater for your animals.  For plants, your best bet is just to find a spot for them in your house.

This isn't an all-inclusive list, however hopefully with this you can begin to get an idea of everything required to save some cash during the cold winter months!


Mary Finley said...

Lowering your thermostat makes such a big difference when you get your energy bill! I started lowering my furnace and probably saved about 10% of my energy bill every month. Thanks for all of the tips, Ill be sure to keep them in mind this winter :)

faisal jamal said...

Excellent info. There are also other ways to lower thermostat cost by turning it down during evening time or the time you are going outside. Turning down the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees at night time by install a programmable set-back thermostat is the best option. As a heating Heating Abbotsford contractor, I always recommend these guides to my current and new customers.

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