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Efficiency Tips for Cold Weather

The numbers are in, and January 2024 was officially the coldest month in the past four years. You could argue the February 2021 saw lower temperatures, so it was “Colder”, but January 2024 had a full 31 calendar days giving it the edge as the month that required the most total space heating to keep member’s homes warm. But there’s one thing we can all agree on: high winter bills are never fun. Craighead Electric Cooperative is here to help you find ways to manage your home energy use and keep winter bills in check.

Here are some tips to help increase your home’s energy efficiency this winter:

  1. Mind the thermostat. This is one of the easiest ways to manage your home energy use. We recommend setting your thermostat to about 68 degrees when you’re home. When you’re sleeping or away for an extended period of time, try setting it a couple of degrees lower; there’s no need to heat your home when you’re away or sleeping and less active.
  2. Button up your home. The Department of Energy estimates that air leaks account for 24% to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling a home. Caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors is another simple, cost-effective way to increase comfort and save energy. If you can feel drafts while standing near a window or door, it likely needs to be sealed.
  3. Use window coverings wisely. Open blinds, drapes or other window coverings during the day to allow natural sunlight in to warm your home. Close them at night to keep that warmth inside. If you feel cold while standing around windows, consider hanging curtains or drapes in a thicker material; heavier window coverings can make a significant difference in blocking your body’s radiant heat from being lost to the outside.
  4. Think personal comfort. If you’re still feeling chilly at home, think of other ways to warm up––beyond dialing up the thermostat. Add layers of clothing, use a small space heater to boost the temperature of just the area you occupy the most, and bundle up under blankets. Electric blankets are one of the most efficient ways to boost personal comfort and can include a variety of features, like timers and dual temperature settings (if your cuddle buddy prefers less heat).
  5. Toasty Toes. One of the easiest ways to stay cozy at home is to keep your feet warm. Our feet play a critical role in regulating body temperature, so when your feet are warm, your body automatically feels warmer. Try a pair of comfortable wool socks or house slippers to stay toasty. If you have hard-surface flooring, consider purchasing an area rug to keep your feet from losing too much heat to the floor.
  6. Don’t let the air get too dry. Another way to make your home cozier is to use a humidifier. Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor like warm air, so by adding humidity inside your home, you can feel a little warmer. A favorable level of humidity (between 35 and 50%) inside your home can also help clear sinuses, soften skin, and improve sleep. Invest in a humidity monitor/ air quality monitor if you are unsure about the quality of your home’s air.

If you’re taking steps to save energy but continue to see major increases in your bills, contact us or take advantage of our free home energy audits. Craighead Electric’s energy experts can help identify areas and other factors impacting your home energy use and recommend next steps for savings.

Winter months often bring some of the highest energy bills of the year. By being proactive about saving energy, you can increase the comfort of your home and reduce monthly bills. Visit our energy efficiency page for additional energy-saving tips.

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