Fifteen Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home and Save Money
Winter is upon us, and for a lot of us that means spending big bucks to keep our homes warm. There area lot of small, simple things you can do to help keep your winter energy costs down. Not all of these may be applicable, or some may be non-starters for you, but just about anyone should be able to find a few things to try on this list.
Change Furnace Filters
A lot of people forget this easy bit of maintenance, but it’s important to replace or clean your furnace filters regularly. Once a month is a good guideline. Dirty filters clog the flow of air and increase the amount of energy needed to move air around your house.
Reverse Your Fans
Fans aren’t only for cooling. In winter, reverse your fans to blow warm air that wants to stay near the ceiling back down into the room.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
If you aren’t consistently using all your hot water, you may be able to turn your water heater down by a few degrees to save some energy costs. This one really applies year round, but winter is as good a time as any to check it out.
Dress More Warmly
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but if you dress for the season you can keep your thermostat a few degrees lower and save money on heating costs.
Eliminate Door Drafts
A draft snake is a great way to keep cold air from flowing in under your exterior doors. Buy one, use a rolled bath towel, or get creative. Along this line, make sure drafts aren’t hitting your thermostat and giving it false readings.
Eliminate Window Drafts
Take a close look at the windows around your house for gaps to the outside. Caulk or weatherstripping can be put up cheaply and easily to keep warm air in and cold air out.
Tune Up Your Heating System
Keeping your furnace in good shape can help efficiency and reduce your energy needs. Most manufacturers and technicians recommend doing this on a yearly basis.
Watch Your Thermostat
Keeping your house a few degrees cooler can add up to decent savings. Try to accumulate to being a little cooler in winter. Alternatively, buy a programmable thermostat to only heat your space during times when you are likely to be there and need it.
Insulate Your Windows
Window insulation kits are pretty cheap, Done right, you can barely notice their presence, yet they act as a buffer to help hold in heat.
Insulate Your Pipes
Find warm water pipes in your home and insulate them. Many hardware stores sell pre-slit foam to puton your pipes. Simply cut to size and fix in place.
Find and Fix Duct Leaks
This one may require a professional, but if your duct-work has a significant amount of air escaping from it, properly sealing it could save you enough money every year to justify the expense.
Use a Smart Power Strip
Lots of appliances and devices continue to draw energy around the clock, even when not in direct use. A smart power strip can shut down the power supply to any products in standby mode.
Check Your Appliances
Make sure your fridge is set to proper temperatures and that it isn’t leaking any cold air into your kitchen. Avoid running appliances like dishwashers, washers, and dryers during peak times, as some energy companies charge higher at peak usage time.
Use Your Curtains
Curtains can help keep warmth in by acting as a buffer that holds warm air in. Unless direct sunlight is streaming in through a window, think about keeping those curtains shut.
Try a Space Heater
If your daily activities tend to be very localized, you can try keeping your furnace turned down and using a space heater near you. If you go this route, make sure the space heater has automatic shut-off and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.