5 ways to save on energy costs this winter

Winter is almost here, which means energy usage is about to skyrocket. If you want to ease your impact on the planet or simply save money on energy bills, check out these 5 simple adjustments that will reduce your consumption drastically.

1. Adjust your thermostat at night. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 10% per year on your heating bills if you turn your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees at night. If you're afraid you'll get cold throughout the night, pile blankets on top of your bed or sleep in layers to stay warm.

2. Invest in humidifiers. In the winter, the air becomes dry, especially inside your home. Using a humidifier will make the air moist, which means it will feel warmer and hold heat more effectively. This is one way to make your home feel warmer without cranking up the furnace.

3. Only heat rooms you use. Close the vents in rooms you rarely use, such as guest rooms, to direct the flow of air to rooms you use the most.

4. Use the sun to heat rooms. The sun heats the entire planet, so why not use it to heat your home? Keep curtains open so that the sun pours in through south-facing windows, then be sure to close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.

5. Bundle up. If you feel chilled and feel an urge to turn up the heat, throw on your warmest sweaters instead. Pile on the layers or use blankets to keep you nice and cozy inside your house.

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