Is it called sticker shock when you open a bill and see your utility costs more than double? My January bill was $250, my February bill was $591. Whatever kind of shock you call it, that’s what I experienced. One of the coldest months of the year had me pinning the temperature 24/7 and that nearly tripled my heating costs.
The gamification of home heating has me turning that dial down a smidge more every time. When you adjust the temperature, a green leaf will sometimes appear to let you know you’re saving energy.
When it’s time to turn the temp down, I will go an extra half degree or more just to get that little bonus of the leaf. When I look back over my month’s energy, I can see how many hours a day I was good.
You think the sweets of Candy Crush are addictive? That same sort of “gotta win” creeps in to your mind with your thermostat when you have a Nest. Accessing the Nest via the app also makes it easy. When I’m in the basement or in the bedroom, or at a movie theatre, I can chase the leaf and get my home heating costs down.
So while I’m trying to turn the dial down more often, I’m looking at other ways to my make my home smarter to go alongside the smart thermostat. In addition to getting a Nest, here’s a list of ideas to save money on your monthly energy bill from Direct Energy.
Tips to save on energy bills
1. Consider switching to a competitive energy contract that offers a fixed or capped rate on natural gas during the winter months if you’re concerned about fluctuating natural gas prices and market volatility.
2. Replace furnace filters every three months to help your furnace or air conditioner run more efficiently. Clogged filters mean that furnace motors must work harder and use more energy.
3. Improving your home’s insulation is one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to cut down on heating costs. You should have approximately 12 inches of insulation in your attic, anything less and you should get it topped up.
4. Install a programmable thermostat to conserve energy. Lowering the temperature during the night and while the family is away during the day could save as much as four per cent on heating bills. Nest Learning Thermostats learn your living patterns to create a custom schedule for your home and will turn itself down when you’re away. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using a Nest thermostat could save you up to 20% on your energy bills.
5. Check for any air leaks or cracks around windows and doors and seal them. Up to 30 per cent of the heating and cooling in a home can be lost through poorly fitted windows and doors. Caulking and weather stripping around existing openings or installing new energy-efficient windows can save home owners money on their energy bills.