Winter is Coming

As the long, cold winter settles in over northern Nevada, an unseen threat lurks just out of sight: high bills. Heating is one of the most expensive household costs each year for people in this area, and Wells Rural Electric Co. members typically see an increase in their monthly bills as temperatures start to drop. However, there’s no reason to fear the cold. Here are six simple, inexpensive measures that can help you conserve energy and money during the cold season.

  1. Don’t Set & Forget
    While programmable thermostats are convenient and help conserve energy, “set it and forget it” is bad advice. Consider turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees while you sleep or if you’re leaving the house for eight hours or more. Doing so can save roughly 10 percent on your heating bills each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  2. PJs for Days
    Winter is the perfect time to put those soft sweatshirts, comfy sweatpants and warm blankets to use. Rather than cranking up the heat, turn the thermostat down and bundle up around the house. While you’re at it, consider a set of flannel sheets and an extra comforter for your bed. Let your clothes and sheets keep you warm so your heating system doesn’t have to.
  3. Free Sun for Everyone
    Nevada is one of the top states in the nation when it comes to solar resources. That makes perfect sense for southern Nevada and its sweltering heat, but northern Nevada is excellent too. Despite the cold winters, there is still an abundance of sunny days. Make sure your home is set up for solar gain, and take advantage of those rays by opening your south-facing windows during the day.
  4. Heat Your Spaces
    Space heaters are a leading cause for winter bill complaints. The energy required to heat an entire home with them can be expensive. However, they are great at what their name implies—heating a specific space. You can save a lot of energy by turning down your thermostat and using space heaters in the parts of your home you occupy most.
  5. Dodge the Drafts
    Cracks and crevices are among the greatest threats to an efficiently heated home. Make sure doors and windows are closed and correctly sealed. Use caulk and weatherstripping to close off leaks and prevent cold drafts from entering and precious heat from escaping. Also, look into your heating system’s ducting to make sure everything is sealed tightly.
  6. Be a Fan of Fans
    Ceiling fans can actually be more effective as heating devices than cooling devices. Setting your fan to rotate clockwise and using the low setting can help your home stay warm. Your fans will gently push hot air back down. And don’t forget to replace air filters every six months to keep your heating system running at optimal performance.