Every year I try to convince myself that I am going to turn my thermostat down for the entire winter. It's going to be 68 degrees or lower, I tell myself. I'm not going to turn it up for any reason. I might even be daring and try to get a few degrees lower! It'll be awesome!
It usually doesn't end well. You see, I'm a gigantic wuss about the cold. Something always happens—it takes me 4 hours to drive home in the snow, I have a lousy day, or it drops beneath zero degrees Fahrenheit—and suddenly I want to treat myself to a balmy 70 degrees to make up for it.
But one of the easiest ways to save money is to turn down your thermostat. If you turn the temperature down for more than 8 hours at a time, in fact, you can save up to 1% on your energy bill per degree you turn the thermostat down.
Use your programmable thermostat to save money in winter and summer.
My lapses have resulted in more than a few months of ridiculously expensive heating bills. So what's my plan to avoid those 70-degree treats this year? Crochet!
Yes, the master plan this year is to make blankets. A stack of blankets for the couch! Blankets for the gaming chair! Blankets to stack on the bed! ...Okay, I only have made 3 so far (and one's a gift), but hey. It's October. I think I have a few more weeks to make stuff. I'm thinking that if I can fill my house with enough fuzzy blankets, I won't be tempted to turn up the heat. I can just cocoon myself in one of the piles of yarn instead.
Of course, you don't have to take up a crafty hobby to keep yourself warm. There are less labor-intensive (but less fun) ways to fill your house with blankets and sweaters. But hey, everyone needs an incentive, right? And apparently crafting is mine this year.
Do any of you have any other ways to use your hobbies to save energy?
Elizabeth Spencer is a communicator at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its websites.