Fall is here and winter is well on the way. Much of the northern part of the country is stocking up on firewood and getting ready to settle in for the duration.
While many of us not face a harsh winter this year, it is definitely a change that you need to be ready for.
Below are just a few small tips that can help you save big bucks this winter:
1. Insulation is everything
Having proper Insulation in your attic can save you up to 20% off your heating bill. But it’s not just your attic that needs insulation. Insulating your hot water tank and exposed hot water pipes can also contribute to a nice savings. Plus, turning your water heat down to 120’ instead of the normal 140’ that installers set it to, can save on heating cost as water heating accounts for between 14%-25% of your total energy consumed.
2. Block out the breeze
Having an open and airy home is what most hire an interior designer for… But when you have an actual breeze blowing through your home, you have a real problem on your hands.
Owning energy efficient doors and windows can save a lot too. Older windows/doors might have air leaks, either from their age or the fact that they were not installed right. Replacing all your old doors and windows can save you up to 10% – 40% off your heating bill depending upon your specific scenario. But doors are expensive, so If you’re unable to replace a door you could always use a long doorstop as a temporary quick fix or install door weather-stripping to help with the breeze under the door. Caulk can help with other leaks around your windows and doors.
3. Speaking of a breeze
Almost all ceiling fans have a switch that you can flip that will change the direction that your fan spins. This will reverse the airflow so that, instead of cooling the air, it actually heats up the house by fanning up towards the warm air and forcing it back down. So you can save some $$$ on your heating by this very simple change. Just be sure that you give your fan a good dusting before you do this… It made a mess last year for me.
4. Take advantage of free energy
In the morning, before you leave for work, open up your curtains. This will allow the sunshine to heat up your home for free. Just be sure to close them as soon as the sun starts to dip, the curtains will help create a barrier to hold all that gathered heat in.
5. When all else fails grab a sweater
Get yourself a programmable thermostat and acclimate yourself. To be more energy efficient, you should turn the heat down, not off, while you’re either asleep or not home and turn it back up once you get home from work. You can pick up a programmable thermostat at just about any home improvement store, and some cities even have programs in place where they will give you a free thermostat just for upgrading to a more energy efficient model.
Also instead of juggling the temperatures inside your home when you get a little chill, wear a sweater inside or keep some throw blankets on hand. I’m not saying to freeze yourself out, but it’s much better to curl up under a blanket that to shell out an extra couple hundred bucks over the course of the winter, right? . A programmable thermostat can make this change very easy to achieve and help save up to 10% off your heating bill.
6. Service your heating system
This is a job best left to the professionals! Have your heating system serviced by a vetted and insured company to ensure it’s running correctly. The last thing you need is your heating system using much more energy than needed or even overheating or breaking down in the dead of winter. (this goes double for your cooling system in the summer)
Replace your furnace filter once a month or more if it needs it.
If you have a fireplace, make sure that it is cleaned and serviced at least once a year also. This will not only make it more efficient, but safer too!
These are just a few small changes that will save you a ton of money in the long run!