TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎12-30-2013 09:00 AM

Save Money On Winter Energy Usage

shutterstock_58934056.jpgDid you know? Most of the electricity in the United States is produced using steam turbines. Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the United States. In 2011, 42% of the country's nearly 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity used coal as its source of energy.

 

Someone alert Frosty they may be after his buttons!

 

Speaking of cold – it is. Even here in Texas sprinkled in between our 80s and 70s we have had a sleet storm and some below freezing temps this year.

 

Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. (Source: Energy.gov)

 

The Energy Information Administration forecasts that the average household heating fuel expenditures this winter will decrease to $928 per household, down from $947 last year. This is the first price drop since the winter of 2001-2002. That’s encouraging news. Still, besides snuggling up by a fire, there are some easy and inexpensive ways you can save on your heating costs this winter.

 

Turn Down Your Thermostat - The DOE’s Energy Savers website says that you can generally save 3% on your heating bill for each degree that you turn your thermostat down during the winter.

 

Utilize Window Coverings to Your Advantage - Opening window coverings on south-facing windows during the day allows the sun to warm your home similarly, closing them at night helps keep in the heat.

 

Be Clean - Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners every month. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.

 

Use Fans Wisely - Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing. They suck up a lot of hot air. Run your ceiling fan in reverse to bring it back down to floor level.

 

Winterize Your Home - Button up your home and wart off any air infiltration and leakage, including windows and doors.

 

Check out Energy.gov’s 12 Days of Energy Savings and their Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit.