As winter approaches, many homeowners start to think about ways to save on their energy bills. Here are seven tips that can help you reduce your energy consumption and save money this winter. (If applied appropriately during the cooling season, many of these tips will also result in lower air conditioning bills.)
Weatherstripping is one of the most effective ways to prevent heat loss in your home. Inspect your doors and windows for gaps and cracks, as well as other areas that are prone to air leaks, and seal them with weatherstripping, caulk, or spray foam, depending on the size and location of the leak. You can also install low-emissivity (Low-E) film on your windows to further reduce heat loss.
Heating System Maintenance
Be sure to have your heating system serviced before the start of winter. This will help ensure that it's operating efficiently and doesn't require any repairs. You may also want to consider upgrading to a more efficient heating system if your current one is outdated. Major advances in energy efficiency have occurred in recent years.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you save money by automatically lowering the temperature when you're not home and raising it again when you return. You can also set it to lower the temperature at night or when you'll be away for an extended period of time.
Insulate Your Home
Adding insulation to your attic and walls is a great way to reduce heat loss and keep your home more comfortable during the winter. This is particularly important if you have an older home with less insulation. When insulation is added, it helps to reduce drafts and keep heat from escaping.
Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans may not seem like they would be helpful in the winter, but they can actually be quite effective. By reversing the direction of the blades to clockwise, you can create a gentle updraft that forces warm air near the ceiling down into the room. This can help you feel more comfortable without having to raise the temperature on your thermostat. It also will increase the time between heating cycles, saving you money.
Door sweeps are an inexpensive way to seal the gaps at the bottom of your doors, preventing drafts and heat loss. They are easy to install and can make a big difference in the comfort of your home. A bonus is that door sweeps can also help keep bugs out since many spiders and other small pests seek the warmth of a house during the winter.
Let the Sunshine In
Open your curtains and blinds during sunny days to let in the sunshine. The sun's heat can help warm up your home naturally, saving you money on your energy bill. Just be sure to close them at night to prevent heat loss.
By following these tips, you can save money on your energy costs this winter and stay comfortable at the same time. Sometimes it's the simple things that make the biggest difference when it comes to reducing your energy costs, and these small habits can add up to big savings over the course of the season.