10 Items to Save You Money on Energy This Winter

Reducing heat loss doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

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Woman checking thermostat

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If you've disconnected all your garden hoses, cleaned your gutters, winterized your garden, and otherwise prepared your home for cold weather, there are still small steps you can take to winterize your home and improve its insulation for years to come. Eco-friendly tactics for increasing your home's energy efficiency can even help save you cash and, in some cases, prevent damage like frozen pipes.

More significant upgrades, like installing energy-efficient windows, can be costly, but there are a number of simple tricks that can add up to a big difference. For example, switching the direction of your ceiling fans can ensure that warm air is circulated downward from where it gathers on ceilings. Other small maintenance tasks, like closing your fireplace when not in use, cleaning furnace filters, and sealing air gaps around doors and windows, can ready your home for a more efficient winter.

Below, you'll find eco-friendly products that will help you reduce energy loss, stay warm, and save you money on energy this winter.

Suptikes Door Draft Stopper

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Suptikes Door Draft Stopper

Amazon

A peel and stick adhesive makes this draft dodger easy to install on exterior or interior doors. Made of three layers of durable silicone, the Suptikes Door Draft Stopper is 2 inches wide and 39 inches long (which can be cut down to your door's dimensions), allowing you to seal under-door gaps up to one inch. Draft stoppers have a number of advantages beyond locking in heat from escaping beneath exterior doors, like minimizing noise and smells between rooms.

Suptikes Door Draft Stoppers are available in four colors.

AFM SafeCoat Caulking Compound

AFM SafeCoat Caulking Compound

Amazon

You can use this non-toxic, water-based caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors, and siding. AFM's SafeCoat Caulking Compound contains no ammonia, formaldehyde, biocides, or fungicides, so it won't release any solvents or harsh odors. Plus, it's easy to use and fast-drying, forming a waterproof seal that won't crack.

Qdos Universal Self-Closing Outlet Covers

Qdos Universal Self-Closing Outlet Covers

Target

Drafts from outlet and gasket covers may not be as noticeable as gaps beneath a door but can still cost you heating efficiency and let in cold air. The electrical outlet covers use spring-activated doors to automatically close over outlets when your devices are unplugged. Not only does this help prevent heat loss, but it also doubles as a child safety precaution.

Greenwood Corner Flannel Door Draft Stopper

Greenwood Corner Flannel Door Draft Stopper

Etsy

These sewn to fit, 100% cotton draft guards are a simple, reusable way to prevent air from coming in from window and door cracks. The handmade door "snake" arrives empty and can be filled however you'd like, with the manufacturer recommending dry beans, rice, sand, or dry corn. Available in four colors, the flannel door draft stoppers are a more stylish and textile-forward way to seal off drafty gaps.

Moondream 2-in-1 Thermal & Blackout Curtain

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Moondream 2-in-1 Thermal & Blackout Curtain

Courtesy of Amazon

Take the sting out of winter's chill with Moondream's 2-in-1 Thermal & Blackout Curtains, which combine an opaque polyester to block out light and a thermal insulated lining to prevent heat loss through windows. Not only can these insulated curtains lower your energy bill in winter, but their reflective insulation also bounces back heat in the summer, keeping internal temperatures cooler.

Each panel is made of 99.97% polyester and is OEKO-TEX certified, ensuring they are manufactured without harmful chemicals. The rust-proof grommets make them easy to hang on most curtain rods, and you can adjust them to the height of your window with included iron-on tape.

Honeywell TH8110R1008 Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell TH8110R1008 Programmable Thermostat

Walmart

Indoor climate control often involves a balance between comfort and energy savings. But a programmable thermostat like the Honeywell TH8110R1008 helps take the guesswork out of keeping your house warm and efficient by automatically adjusting settings depending on your needs. Using its touch display, you can program multiple temperature profiles, automating your thermostat while on vacation, for example, or programming each day of the week differently. Or you can adjust your thermostat from your phone using the thermostat's compatibility with Honeywell Home RedLINK accessories.

Burrow Night Swim Rug

Burrow Night Swim Rug

Burrow

The right area rug can act as more than a design element by keeping your feet warm in winter. Burrow offers a large selection of ethically-sourced area rugs in a variety of eco-friendly fabrics, including 100% recycled polyester. Their Night Swim rug is available in four different sizes and can be paired with an insulated rug pad made from recycled fibers for additional insulation and cushioning.

The Tartan Blanket Co. Recycled Wool Blanket

The Tartan Blanket Co. Recycled Wool Blanket

The Tartan Blanket Co.

If you're turning the thermostat down, you can still warm up with one of these recycled wool blankets from The Tartan Blanket Company. Designed in Edinburgh, Scotland, and woven in India, these blankets combine 70% recycled wool with 30% mixed recycled fibers, retaining wool's warmth while adding softness. Available in a wide variety of plaid patterns, these recycled blankets are also machine washable.

Lavish Home Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack

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Lavish Home drying rack

Courtesy of Amazon

Clothes driers, particularly older ones, can be real energy hogs, costing roughly 30 to 75 cents per load in energy, depending on the settings and the cost of energy in your area. When you can, letting laundry air-dry can add up, even if you still use the dryer sometimes. We love this rack made from bamboo, because it can be moved easily and folded away to store.

Cree 60W Equivalent Daylight (5000K) Dimmable LED Light Bulb

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Cree 60W Bulb

Courtesy of Amazon

When your old incandescent or CFL lightbulbs blow, swapping them for an LED is one of the easiest ways to start saving electricity. Treehugger’s top pick is the Cree 60W Equivalent Daylight bulb, which is compatible with dimmable switches. It’s backed by a 10-year warranty. 

Final Verdict

Reducing heat loss doesn't have to cost a fortune, and even simple steps can offer you a big bang for your buck. One affordable tube of SafeCoat caulking compound, for example, can close a lot of heat-leaking gaps. Pair that with an easy to install door draft stopper, and your home should start feeling a little warmer right away.

What to Look for in Energy Saving Products

There are several useful certifications to look for when researching energy-saving and eco-friendly products. The Energy Star logo, for example, is an Environmental Protection Agency seal of approval, indicating that a product meets energy efficiency standards. The Green America Certified Business label means that a business adopts practices that seek to improve the lives of its customers, employees, and the environment. The GreenGuard logo certifies that building materials and other items reduce indoor air pollution.

Choosing durable items over single-use ones is another way to ensure that what you're purchasing is environmentally friendly. For example, plastic window coverings that can only be used once may be low cost but wind up in landfills. Investing in storm windows is more expensive but likely saves you money over time and has a lower environmental footprint in the long-term. Reusable HVAC filters are another great buy that can save you both money and time.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger tests a variety of products, combining authoritative sources with comprehensive research to provide you with the best recommendations. Several products in this round-up have been previously reviewed, so you can follow the links to learn more about our long track record of experience with these and other eco-friendly products.

Heidi Wachter has been writing about health and the environment for over a decade. She's also always looking for ways to keep warm in her charming but drafty, one-hundred-year-old home.

View Article Sources
  1. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

  2. How Many kWh Does a Dryer Use?Whirlpool