Make the right moves with ceiling fans, curtains and thermostats to stay comfortable and still save energy.
Unplugging holiday lights may bring energy-bill relief to homeowners, especially those with elaborate displays.
But in addition to packing away the Christmas lights and easing up on holiday baking, you can trim your power bill in other ways.
Charlotte-based Duke Energy reminds customers of several ways to save in the new year:
Start with the HVAC
"The thermostat can be the biggest contributor of high winter bills," said Gayle Lanier, Duke’s senior vice president of customer services. "We encourage customers to select the lowest comfortable setting when they're home, then lower the temperature a degree or two when they leave."
Experts also recommend changing your hvac system's air filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
Service your heating system regularly to keep it running efficiently, particularly during cold-weather months. Regular service calls from a licensed HVAC technician will help to properly maintain your furnace.
Use your fan, even in winter
The ceiling fan is a great way to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter without the need to turn up (or down) your furnace or air conditioner.
Warm air rises. To push warm air down in the winter, set the ceiling fans to operate in a clockwise direction at a low speed.
Let the sunshine in
On sunny days, leave your drapes or blinds open during the winter to allow the sun's rays to warm the house.
Make sure you've sealed up any leaks around the windows before drawing the curtains, so you don't lose more energy than you let in. Here's how to fix a drafty window.
Mastered these tactics and want more ways to lower the gas or electric bill in your home? Check out these 10 energy-saving tips.