Winterize Your Home and Save Money
Winter is almost upon us now so it’s time to winterize your home before the wind chill, snow and ice cause your energy bills to break new records.
With little out of pocket cost, you can create a nearly winter-proof home, and it won’t take much time or labor on your part to make it happen. Follow these tips to produce a more energy efficient and cozy abode even when old man winter is chillin’ at your door step.
Seal leaks: Check throughout your house for leaks in out-of-the-way places like unfinished basements, behind cupboards and in closets. Also, check for air coming in through gaps in windows and doors. You can use caulk or weatherstripping to mend the problem.
Window insulation: For the cost of a fast food lunch you can pick up a window insulation kit. Sheets of plastic cover the outside of your windows giving you a protective barrier against frigid winds.
Check the bottom of your doors: Most doors that lead to the outdoors let air in at the bottom. Simply fold up a bath towel and place it against the bottom and the problem is fixed. Or you can purchase a fancier version, but both work.
Replace filters: If you are like most people you forget about your furnace filter. Keeping it clean creates a more efficient unit and lowers energy bills because the buildup on old filters restricts air flow thus causing the machine to work harder.
Open your curtains and blinds: Even in the cold winter the sun still produces heat that you can allow into the house through the windows. So let the sun in.
Manipulate your thermostat: If you don’t have a programmable thermostat (which is recommended), turn down the heat at night to save energy, and also when you leave the house. Each degree that you lower the thermostat can save you between 1% to 3% on your bill. You can turn it back up when you arrive back home or in the morning before preparing for work and school.
Ceiling fan switch: Check your ceiling fans to see if they have a switch that allows you to run them clockwise or counter clockwise. During the winter run the fans clockwise; that will produce warm air by taking the heated air that has risen and pushing it back down.
Fireplace tricks: When not using the fireplace keep the flue damper closed; see if you can purchase or find a metal-tubed grate that forms a c-shape facing out from the fireplace. It actually helps circulate warm air back out into the room.
As you can see winterizing your home is not difficult, and it won’t cost you much in time or money either. But before you begin there is one other thing you can do to save money – wear a sweater or sweatshirt in the house to keep comfy and warm. There’s no reason to have the heater blazing; it simply costs too much money and it won’t give you the opportunity to cuddle up in front of the TV at night with the family or get snug with a favorite book.