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How to prep your home, save money as a pricey winter approaches

Here are just a few ways to prep your house for the upcoming winter that will save you big bucks.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With winter quickly approaching and record-high inflation, saving money on utilities might be something you're thinking about.

Here are some tips to save you money.

Everyone fights over what the magic number on the thermostat is. The truth is—it varies for each household. 

The recent unseasonable warmth we’ve had this fall may have allowed you to keep the heat down or even off altogether.

Experts say that, during the winter, that magic number is 68 degrees. But, the lower you go, the more you save.

According to the Knoxville Utilities Board, for every degree closer to 68, you could save an additional 1% on your bill, or about a dollar per degree for the average household. This even applies as you go below 68 as well.  

Now, you need to make sure that warm air is circulating around your home. 

This means changing your air filters every season. If you’ve got bad allergies or pets, you might want to do this more often to keep the air clear. 

It's also important to keep the area around your air vents clear, especially of large items like furniture. An efficient airflow will keep dollars in your pockets.

Now to keep that warm air in and the cold air out—caulk your windows and weatherstrip your doors. 

You’ll know it’s time to do that if you can see light through the cracks. That means air is flowing through it as well, and you might be able to feel it. This could be an easy DIY instead of calling a repairman.

To make sure you’re not running up the water bill, take shorter showers and make sure your toilet isn’t running.

Check for any leaks in your piping. If you have any pipes in unconditioned places like the garage, insulate them to prevent freezing, or worse, bursting.

Your last line of defense is to be a smart utility user. Most providers share your usage data on their websites. 

Some even let you monitor your usage by cost or power to the hour and can help you create thresholds if you want to keep your usage down.

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