The cold, winter months are settling in across Long Island. With the cold comes a change in your energy bills. Did you know that there are ways your habits can be costing you money? While not all related to the winter months, here’s seven costly energy habits that are rather typical, but they are ones that can change easily.

Shorten your winter showers
Winter delivers a double whammy to your energy costs because hot water heating elements and gas burners work harder to heat the water in your hot water tank. Along with that, in the winter time, many people just stay in the shower to feel warm.Thermostat, Home Energy Saving

Not programming your programmable thermostat

The U.S. Department of Energy states that you could save 10% a year on heating and cooling if you adjust your thermostat 7-8 degrees for 8 hours a day. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, make it a habit to turn it down before going to bed.

Washing partial loads of laundry or dishes

It costs about $180.00 per year to run your dishwasher every day. Running it every other day will effectively cut that in half.

The cost of doing laundry 3 times a week is about $105.00 a year. This includes both washing and drying. Making sure your loads are full, and doing laundry once a week, can save you about $35 a year though, you want to avoid overloading them.

Both of these figures are based on average sized homes. If you have a larger family, your costs are higher, however, by making sure that you are doing full loads, you can still reap energy savings.

Shut the light off

Though it may not seem like it, leaving lights on does take a toll on your energy bill. Everyone is guilty of leaving the light on. However, it takes little effort to flip the switch. During the winter months, far more electricity is used to light our homes, so every little bit helps.

Shut the door

Standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open trying to figure out what to eat truly wastes electricity. According to Home Energy Magazine, opening and closing your refrigerator door accounts for 7% of its total energy usage.

Being careless with your refrigerator door throughout the year wastes the amount of energy that it takes to run your dishwasher 20 times (The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida).

Sleeping with the TV on

If you sleep with one TV on in your house, it could cost you about $55.00 per year. That is equivalent to 5.5 months of Netflix, or a nice dinner out.  Many people have a TV in their bedroom, and while this is convenient, the best practice may be to eliminate it so you don’t fall asleep with it on.

Avoid phantom load

Even when appliances like the TV and DVD players, chargers for electronics, etc. are not in use, they are still drawing energy. Unplugging them when not in use will also help reduce your energy bill.

While these seven costly energy habits may not be a lot individually, combined, they can add up. By making a few small changes, you may see savings on your energy bills.