Camming in the winter can be exceptionally daunting when the weather dips and you’re faced with turning the heat up and breaking your bank or sucking it up and freezing you’re a*s off.
Neither is particularly appetizing but what’s one to do when heating is so expensive?
The Ukraine war has not helped things – especially in Europe and with the exceptionally cold winter and rains, things are even worse this year – especially for the Western states like California, Oregon, and Washington. As reported on by the LA Times, Californians are looking at a 300% natural gas rate increase – a monthly bill that was once $130 will now be $315!
If you live in an area that is experiencing lower natural gas rates or your home only uses electricity, you still know that it’s expensive this time of year, so here’s some tips to help keep your rates down.
- Keep your thermostat set three to five degrees less than you normally do.
- Warm only the room you are in and keep the door closed to keep the heat confined. Check out this article for some tips on picking out a good space heater (and using it wisely) for areas that don’t have access to gas.
- If your gas is expensive, run gas and electric together, then turn them off once you hit the temperature you feel comfortable in – the two types of energy will warm the room faster together, so you use less natural gas.
- If you have ceiling fans, run the fan clockwise to help move the heat (which rises to the ceiling) back down to you so you feel the heat you’re paying for.
- Take short showers instead of long ones, the gas that it takes to heat water is expensive.
- Wash all your dishes by hand once a day instead of throughout. Don’t run the water while washing, instead fill up the sink or a tub – you’ll use less energy this way than letting the water run.
- If you use a dishwasher, don’t run the heating mechanism, dry dishes by hand.
- If you have your own washer and dryer, wash clothes in cold (which is better for your clothes anyhow as heat causes fading) and wait to do full loads.
- Install a low flow shower head so that less water is used – I haven’t been able to take the plunge on this one, I hate a weak shower, but for some it doesn’t bother them, and it will save you money as you’ll use less hot water.
- Caulk, and insulate. If you live in an area where you won’t be opening your windows (sometimes Southern California can surprise you – one day it’ll be cold, the next warm) you can also apply shrink-to-fit plastic wrap to keep your heat from leaking out.
Photo credit: iStock.com/Olivier Le Moal
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via email@example.com.