The cold months of the winter are upon us, and it is the time of year where major home issues can arise and energy bills increase substantially. Here are some tips on how to winterize your home and save on energy throughout the winter season.
Keep drafts away from your home
Use draft blockers to keep cold air out. This can save up to 5-30% in energy costs.
Change furnace filters
A clean filter will help your furnace run much more efficiently saving you lots of money over the winter season. You can even consider putting in a permanent filter.
Run your fans in reverse
Ceiling fans are useful in the winter months as well. Reversing the direction of the fan will keep the warm air circulating throughout the house.
Winterize water lines
Drain any hoses and water pipes. Make sure that you don’t have any water pooled in your equipment. Also, turn off any water spigots.
Install storm doors and windows
This can be a large investment, but one that is worth making. Installing quality storm doors and windows will cut down on drafts keeping the warmth in your home and the cold winds outside. This can increase your energy efficiency by up to 45% and it’s a great way to winterize your home.
Use a window installation kit
For a minimal cost, you can purchase window insulating kits. You can install the films over your windows yourself. If installed properly they aren’t easily seen. This can help to keep warm air in your home.
Get a tune-up for your heating system
Maintaining your heating system is one of the best ways to winterize your home. It will increase your energy efficiency and help you avoid your furnace dying in the middle of winter. You can rest assured that your heating system is in good condition and you won’t be left shivering without heat in the dead of winter.
Program your thermostat
Set up your thermostat on a schedule that suits your family’s needs. There’s no need to heat your home at 72 degrees while everyone is at school and work. You can program your thermostat to begin warming the home just before the family is scheduled to arrive home. Each degree lower will save you about 1-3% of your energy bill.
Check your caulk and weatherstripping
Gaps in your weatherstripping or caulk can cost you up to 5% more on your energy bill. Check around your windows to see if any cracks are forming from the natural settling of your house.
Insulate your pipes
This is another large investment that will take planning and preparation, but it can save your from a huge headache. Insulating your pipes can save energy by keeping your water warmer. It can also keep your pipes from freezing which can be a disastrous situation for your home.
Check your air ducts
Experts say that 10-30% of energy escapes from gaps in duct work. A thorough inspection and repairing of air ducts can save you significantly when you winterize your home.
Move furniture off of vents
This will help increase the airflow around the house and also it can save you from a fire hazard.
Use insulating window coverings
Open the curtains during the day to let the warm sun in and close them at night to keep out cool air.
Prepare the exterior of your home
Remove debris from the roof of your home. Replace any missing or broken shingles.
Maintain your landscaping
Branches can become heavy and hang low during the freezing months. Trim back any landscaping that is close to the home and could pose a problem.