Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator & Purdue Alumna
Yikes! Did your first winter energy bill come in higher than you expected? Turning off the heat to save money for the rest of the winter isn’t going to be an option when you live in Indiana, unfortunately, so we’ve rounded up some tips to help you save some cash until it’s warm outside again.
Turn down the heat
Both on your thermostat and your water heater (you should have access to this in a utility closet). Lowering the heat in your house to around 68 is enough to keep you warm (you may have to add a couple layers) and can help to reduce your heating bill. If you have a programmable thermostat take advantage of the settings and turn the heat down a couple more degrees (but ALWAYS stay at least at 50 unless your apartment requires otherwise to avoid your pipes freezing) so you’re not using extra energy while you’re gone. Also, making a minor adjustment on you hot water heater will save you money (less hot water = shorter showers).
Unplug electronics you aren’t using
This is a simple one that can be used all year. Even if you’re not using your laptop and it’s in hibernation mode, it’s still using electricity. Unplug it and save yourself a couple bucks (so you can have heat!). Also, avoid space heaters! They use a lot of electricity and tossing a blanket on your lap or pulling on a sweatshirt will keep you just as warm.
Cover your windows
Plastic over leaky windows can save you tons of money. This is an especially good idea if you live in an older apartment or rental house. We had a window in a rental house that leaked so badly that we could literally watch the plastic sheet we taped around it billow and fill with cold air! Just covering that window saved us a lot in heating costs. wikiHow has a great article on how to properly cover your windows.
Turn your ceiling fans clockwise
Apparently there’s a setting on most ceiling fans that will allow you to switch the direction they spin. And turning clockwise will push the hot air back down to keep the heat in your rooms instead of pushing it up towards the ceiling (hot air does rise, after all).
Always wear layers
Add an extra blanket to your bed, keep your slippers handy, invest in some sweaters from the thrift store, keep extra blankets in the living room… Putting on layers keeps you warm and will keep you from turning up the heat, saving you money on electricity.