Three Things You Can Do This Winter to Save Money and Be Energy Efficient

No one likes paying the bills each month. Unlike your mortgage or car payment, utilities can change on a month to month basis with little warning. The good news is there are ways you can lower your energy bills by investing in your home and implementing smart habits. Now that the seasons are getting colder, it is a great opportunity to do what you can now so your energy bills are lower come wintertime.

Invest in Your Home

Updating your appliances is a great way to save money and increase the value of your home in the long run. Many homes have outdated appliances and systems that eat up far too much energy. Look for an EnergyStar sticker when you’re shopping for dishwashers and laundry machines. An EnergyStar rating signals that the appliance is one of the most efficient on the market. Additionally, if your furnace is over 10 years old, you should probably start shopping for a new one soon.


Furnace efficiency is measured by AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This simply means how much of the fuel you’re paying for actually converts to heat that is usable for your home. Modern furnaces can be quite efficient with some models boasting an AFUE of 95%. Even the standard models are about 80% which would still be quite an increase if you have an old model. Switching to a new high-efficiency unit can easily boost your efficiency by 20% or more, which only means more month-to-month savings.

Energy Audit

The layout and infrastructure of your home could be wasting tons of energy. It is hard to account for every little air leak or possible inefficiency without knowing where to look. That’s where our energy audits come in. We’ll uncover the exact problem areas of your home that are losing the most heat and offer our solutions.

But what can you do to help right now? You should have some idea of what you’re spending every month on utilities, but you might not know exactly. Keep copies of your bill every month, so you can have an idea of how your energy spending is changing over time. Additionally, keep track of drafts in your home and be sure to tell us during the audit, so we can uncover the source of the problem.

Winterize Your Home

Winterizing your home covers a variety of things. From implementing small, good habits to shoring up potential air leaks in windows and doors, winterizing your home is a great way to prepare for the higher energy costs associated with the colder months.


Insulation protects your home from the outside elements, while also ensuring that your home’s heat doesn’t escape from our basement or attic. This means a home with poor insulation is going to be affected by the winter chill more than a typical home and that your attempts to heat your home back up will be fruitless. Installing new insulation can save you up to 25% on your energy bills. If you’re not sure if your current insulation is adequate, our home energy audit specialists can take a look and help you figure out a solution.

Turn Down the Thermostat

Your water heater and furnace use the most gas in the home, so don’t ask them to do as much and you’ll save money. It sounds simple, but a lot of people don’t realize the savings that come from just turning down the thermostat one degree. You can save 1 to 3 percent on your heating bill every month for every degree. The same applies to your water heater. Your water heater’s thermostat is right on the outside of the unit. 140 degrees is a typical temperature setting for these, but you can lower this to 130 degrees and safely bring in the savings.


Your HVAC system is designed to heat a closed space. Every leak, no matter how small, will effectively expand the amount of heating your system has to do. You can lend a helping hand to your furnace by eliminating heat loss through the most common sources of air leaks—doors and windows. There’s no one way to do this. There are insulation films that go over your window or weatherstripping tape that goes along the frames of your windows. For doors, you can buy a similar weatherstrip kit. For particularly leaky cracked frames, caulking the cracks may be the best option.

If you need a home energy audit or a new furnace installed in the Charleston, WV area, give us at Dodrill Comfort & Energy Solutions a call at (304) 212-2004. We’re available 24/7!