We used to keep two guest bedrooms closed off in the winter time. We would shut the door and close the vents in those rooms and then put cloth snakes in front of them. However, I am not going to do that this year on the advice of my heating people. They tell me that by doing that, it makes our furnace run harder costing us more money. I am willing to test this out for the winter season to see if we use less natural gas.
I had so many clothes, sheets, blankets and comforters to wash this weekend that I used cold water for all but did use my dryer. It would have been too much for me to hang. The comforter took a long time to dry. Today, I can get the two guest beds back together. But since all are done, I am ready for more guests. By doing them one load after the other, It cost less than doing them on different days. The residual heat always helps. I always do full loads.
We use our small appliances most all of the time to cook rather than use our stove top and oven. If I can cook it in the air fryer, I do. Over the winter, we use it for almost all our meats. I haven’t tried hamburgers in it but we do pork chops, lamb chops, chicken and even steaks. I love grilling steaks outside but not in the cold and snow. So Hubby tried filet mignon in the air fryer once a couple of years ago and it was perfect. We now do all of our steaks in it in the cold weather. I will try hamburgers soon. I am just worried about it making a mess on the inside of the air fryer. Do any of you do hamburgers in yours? Is it messy?
Unless, I am cooking for more than the two of us, I now scramble our eggs and cook them in the microwave in a mug. They only take 45 seconds to 1 minute. I always cook our bacon in the microwave also. So it is easy for me to have bacon and eggs for breakfast most mornings. I also use our instant pot for hard boiling eggs each week when we want to switch up how we want them. I can do up to a dozen at a time. I usually do this when I am having eggs delivered that day. I always buy the 60 count from Walmart. The old ones get hard boiled and the new ones get put in the fridge. I cut the flaps off the new box and it fits perfectly on the top shelf of the fridge. It still leaves me room to put the hard boiled ones in front of the raw ones so they get used up first. They get used for meals and snacks.
Our instant pot gets used for lots of soups, stews, one skillet dishes and taco meat. I love to cook up lots of meat for tacos at once and then freeze it into portions. It is then so easy to make taco salad for a meal.
We also use our waffle iron a few times a month. Hubby makes blueberry ones from blueberries that I freeze in August when they are in season. But his best are the apple cinnamon ones. He always makes more than for just one meal. I freeze the extras to pull out when we are in a rush to go out. I have a small waffle iron to make chaffles when I am on Keto.
All of our oatmeal gets cooked in the microwave. On an especially cold day like today, it tastes so good.
I use our bread maker now for all of our breads. I will bake muffins in the toaster oven.
What ever small appliance works, I will use instead of the big appliance.
We no longer use an electric blanket. When we got the adjustable beds and had to buy new linens, I thought about buying new ones but decided that two blankets and flannel sheets on each would work fine and use no electricity.
Our freezer I have to manually defrost. So I try to keep the ice off the walls so that it is more efficient. Three times a year, I defrost it using a blow dryer and a plastic scraper. This saves us the cost of it constantly defrosting if I had a frost free one. I also use a chest freezer rather than an upright for two reasons. It costs less to run and it holds more food per square foot.
We use a storm door on our back door to keep the drafts down. We can not find one that fits our front door but we rarely open that door in the winter.
I never let hot water just run down the sink. I have two sinks so I put a little hot water in one to wash and a little warm water in one to rinse. Anything that can go in the dishwasher does.
Since we upgraded our A/C unit to a more efficient one this year because of a freon leak, our A/C bills were lower. We also will get a tax credit on our income taxes when we do them the beginning of the year. It was a win, win situation.
We always have our furnace checked by a professional just before heating season. If we hadn’t, we would not have known that the motor was failing in the furnace. Hubby replaced it.
We always have a professional check our A/C just before summer. If we hadn’t, we would not have know about the freon leak we had.
I am discussing with Hubby insulating our hot water pipes that run through the unheated basement. We did this ourselves in one of our homes.
We also check for leaky ducts in the duct work. They can be fixed easily using duct tape.
If you have heat registers in the floor like we do, place your furniture so that it doesn’t block them.
Replace your furnace filters about once a month to keep your furnace running efficiently.
We use a programmable thermostat so that it automatically turns the heat down at night and up in the morning.
I open shades and blinds on sunny windows and close them when the sun is no longer on them.
We inspect the seal on our refrigerator once a year to make sure it is tight. We put a flashlight on inside of it. If you can see light outside of the fridge, replace the seal.
Never put hot foods in your refrigerator and open and close the door quickly.
Use cold water when operating your garbage disposal.
I hope these tips help you keep your energy bills down.
If you have any tips that you would like to share, feel free to comment.