The holidays are over and now we get to enjoy fun part of winter, the weather. If you are not a ski bum, then the winter weather is simply cold. Fortunately, there are some simple energy saving tips that can help warm our homes.
If we could all turn into bears and hibernate until spring, we would. But, as it is, we still have jobs, school, and the everyday errands that pull us from the warmth of our cozy homes. To help, here are some winter energy saving tips that you can implement today!
Turn Down the Thermostat
It seems obvious, but there is a good reason that this is the first thing you should do. Turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees and you’ll save about five-twenty percent on your heating costs.
Most of us spend a good portion of the day out of the house. If you have the heat up, you are warming an empty house and adding to that heating bill. Turn the heat down a little more during the day and then back up when you come home from work. Investing in a programmable thermostat will help to get the house warmed up before you and your family arrive.
Replace Old Furnace Filters
Just like you clean out the lint trap between each load of laundry, you need to replace your old furnace filters in order to keep them clear. A blocked filter will inhibit the airflow and make your home feel cooler than it should.
It is also good to have a professional come out and give your furnace a tune-up to keep it in good working order.
Seal Up Air Leaks
Leaks in your home will allow the cold air outside to sneak in. Look for areas in your home that are most often the culprits of leaks, such as electrical outlets, door and windows, baseboards, caulking, vents, weather stripping, attic doors, and fireplace dampers.
Run your hand over these areas. If you feel the cool air, you may want to have a closer look for cracks, gaps, and damage that may be allowing the air outside in.
You can check for leaks by either looking for cracked caulking or any other gaps or by doing a pressurization test. This test includes turning off all vents and exhaust fans, lighting an incense stick, and moving it over typical leak areas.
Update the Insulation in Your Home
Like a bear needs her fur, our home needs its insulation. When was the last time you thought about the insulation in your home? Last winter? The winter you first moved in? Ever? If it’s been a while, you may want to consider updating the insulation in your home.
It would be unwise to do the work yourself (unless, of course, you know how) or to hire just anybody to do it. Your best bet is to call a professional to come out and do the work for you. They can make sure the job is done safely and correctly, any leaks are sealed before the insulation goes in, and they can make sure you get the right type of insulation for your home. As important as insulation is, it is more important that it be done correctly.
Cover Drafty Windows
Big windows are a great feature and a big draw for first time home buyers. They are wonderful to have in the spring and fall when the weather is nice and the view is worth looking at, but come winter those big windows can be a big pain.
If you have turned down the thermostat, gotten your insulation updated, sealed the leaks, and you are still cold in your house, see if your windows are the problem. You could invest in more energy efficient windows, but if even that isn’t enough, you can cover your windows with heavy plastic on the insides in order to help keep the heat in and the cold out.
Little Things Count in a Big Way
It really is the little things that count, especially when it comes to saving energy in your home and reducing your monthly utility bills. Simple things will all add up will help save energy in your home and help lower your winter heating bill.
Some of these small and simple things, include:
- reversing your ceiling fans to push the heat down.
- laying down carpets or rugs on bare wood and tile floors.
- using a humidifier.
- using a crock pot more often than your stove.
- letting your dishes air dry in the dishwasher.
- use the appropriate size burner for your pots when cooking on the stove top.
Another small thing you can do that will help with energy savings is switching your light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs if you haven’t already. With night coming sooner, we tend to use more lighting during the winter months, which adds to our energy usage. Making the switch will help you in the long run.
At SolvIt, we aim to provide solutions that improve your home over the long term. In addition to exploring an oil to gas conversion and energy saving tips.
If you have any questions, then please call us today because we are here 24/7 to help with any of your home service needs!