Home > 2015 > Personal Finance

7 Ways to Conserve Energy & Save Money This Winter

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

With the temperatures dropping, you may be worried about a soon-to-come snowy commute or potential holiday season stress. No matter what is on your mind, before you know it, your winter energy bills will be pouring in. For many of us, these are higher than what we got in the summertime, throwing your monthly budget out of whack and even possibly putting you into debt.

Some of your energy use may be hard or even impossible to curb, but there are plenty of things you can do now to prepare your home for the cold weather. Your wallet will certainly thank you. Check out these tips to help you conserve energy and save money during the cold weather this year.

1. Consider an Audit

Before you make any changes, it is good to know where you stand. You can hire professionals or speak with your local energy company about getting an energy audit to evaluate your space for efficiency. He or she will test your home’s energy loss and generate a report highlighting some issues in your home. Some companies offer an audit for free.

2. Insulate & Assess

The biggest way to cut back this winter is keeping outside air out and inside air in. Look for gaps and cracks in your foundation, windowpanes and doorframes. You can also look for places to add insulation, from your attic to your pipes.

3. Tune the Heating System

Energy costs are often closely related to your heating system. If you have inefficiencies with your furnace, the price can jump even higher. Every fall, it can be a good idea to change or clean your heating filters and check on them once a month while it is being used heavily.

4. Stock Up in Fall

Don’t wait until the snow starts to buy what you need. Restock your winter essentials like salt, ice melt, shovels and blowers now so you are more prepared and often get a better price. It can also be a good idea to clean your gutters and leave mowed (instead of raked) leaves around because the small pieces will decompose among the grass and nourish your lawn through the coming season.

5. Seek & Seal Leaks

Apply stripping and/or caulk around windows and doors to prevent that cold air from blowing into your home. You can even place special window insulation film on your windows to protect your home’s warmth further. Lastly, make sure the damper on your fireplace chimney is closed when you’re not using it.

6. Program Your Thermostat

A smart thermostat allows you to set lower temperatures at certain days and times. You can leave it warm for the morning and when you get home from work, while letting it drop while you’re out of the house at work. You can also try setting the temperature slightly lower and instead put on a sweater. You may find you don’t need as warm a temperature as you may think. You can even add layers through indoor decorating — pillows, rugs, mats, and blankets can serve by both adding warmth and aesthetic value.

7. Check the Lights

The less you take advantage of (free!) sunshine, the more electricity you will need to use. There is no time like the present to buy some CFL and LED lights for your home. Also take advantage of the sunlight when it is there by keeping shades and curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of your home. Then close them when the sun goes down to keep the heat in.

Even if you don’t have the money or time to institute all of these energy- and money-saving tips, it’s a good idea to do what you can for now and plan for some of these improvements into next year’s budget. Preparing your home for winter can make you more comfortable both physically and economically.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team