I am 37 years old, I have always lived in the Northeast, I’ve always been fortunate to have a house with heat and car to drive around in… and I don’t remember a winter every kicking my butt like this one. Polar vortex??!! Did we have those when we were younger?? Seriously, negative temperatures in the double digits with the windchill?! Ugh, I think I’m getting old, because I can barely handle this anymore.
And then I got my electric bill for last month, and that kicked my butt too! Seriously, I can’t handle it… soooo, it’s time to make some changes!
As an adult, I’ve always lived in fairly new houses. I never really gave a ton of thought to weatherizing my house for the winter. I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought that was something people who lived in old, drafty houses did. But then I started walking past my front door on this tiny little patch of hardwood floors and I could barely stand how cold it was! I mean, it was FREEZING! A floor inside our house, that had a finished basement right underneath it and I could barely walk on it in my bare feet.
So I stuck my hand around the cracks in the door and I wish I had feel-o-vision for this blog, so I could show you a picture of my door and you could feel the draft coming through those cracks. I felt like banging my head against a wall. Yeah, not so confusing any more why that electric bill was so high.
My first plan of attack was to add some weather stripping around the entire door frame. This took no more than 10 minutes tops and could have been faster if I wasn’t such a perfectionist. I just ran it flush up against the rubber molding that was already there. This was self-stick, so that’s all there was to it! Look at the difference between the before and afters for those cracks in my door frame! And this is where the feel-o-vision would be beneficial because now you could hold a piece of paper up to the crack and it wouldn’t blow!
Next I grabbed this draft dodger from up in my daughter’s room. We had it covering the crack into the storage room that’s off her dormer. But, honestly, we only get into that storage room a handful of times each year, so I just stuffed a towel under the door for now. This draft dodger will work much better at our front door where we open and close it so many times each day. This makes such a HUGE difference!
Up next on my to-do lists was the electrical outlets. This was the most time-consuming part, but should make a difference for hardly any money! If your outlets aren’t insulated, they can leak the heat that you’re paying for inside your home, outside. So I just unscrewed the outlet cover, placed a piece of insulation over the receptacle and then screwed the cover back on. I started with all of my exterior outlets first and then moved on to my interior ones.
I also took a caulk gun and some caulk and did some quick caulking around some window frames where it seemed like the caulk was getting a little old. I don’t know how necessary this was for my particular house, but it made me feel better around a couple of our older windows.
The last item on my “Lower My Electric Bill” list didn’t have to do with drafts, but it should still make a difference to our bottom line. I took a Smart Strip and plugged in our TV, DVR, DVD player, Wii console and Wii charger device. The Smart Strip is similar to a power strip, however it allows you to leave certain items powered on that should never be powered off (i.e. your modem, DVR), while still allowing you to cut power to other items that are still drawing power even if you turned them off (i.e. your video game consoles, DVD players, printers). It’s stuff that’s way over my head, but all I know is that it should save me close to $40/year in energy costs!
Are you looking for a way to slash your electric bill?? Take a look at the PPL Electric Utilities’ Energy Analyzer tool! It’s pretty neat to see different ways you could change small things to lower your bill. My husband gets obsessed with this tool and uses it almost like a personal competition to see how he can beat his bill from the month before! This is fun for him!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through PPL. I have been compensated for this post or received free product. All opinions are 100% my own.