As the calendar rolls toward winter, many homeowners are cautious about the increased costs that come with winter weather. Because many of these costs come from additional electricity use, you’re also looking at a larger environmental footprint.
Here are five projects you can perform around the house to keep it green this winter, even if it’s covered in snow.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
You can expect to spend up to $1,000 this winter on heating fuel. The easiest way to cut costs is to lower your home’s indoor temperature, but you still want to be comfortable while you are home. The solution; programmable thermostats.
Programmable thermostats allow you to select different temperatures for your house based on a schedule. During the day when you are at work, you can lower the temperature 5-10 degrees, while the weather outside will be warmer anyway. For nights and weekends, when you are more likely to be home, the system will adjust itself. No more checking temperatures on your way out the door, then panicking when you see your energy bill at the end of the month.
One of the nice benefits of programmable thermostats is that installation is a reasonable task with few required tools. It can be done in about an hour and most homes only have one thermostat that you’ll need to replace. You’re also looking at an investment of less than $100 that provides savings of up to $180 per year if you program correctly.
Two important notes to remember if you install your own thermostat:
- Shut off the power source to your thermostat before installation
- If your old thermostat is not electric, it likely contains mercury, meaning you should recycle it.