In many parts of the country, the snow is blowing and the ice isn’t anywhere near melting. The good news is, there’s still time to take action to save on your energy bill, head off any potential problems when the spring thaw starts, and up the comfort level of your home without breaking the bank. We’ve tapped into our network of Pro’s who have offered the following tips & tricks.
Get your furnace checked
It’s never too late to make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape, and ensure it’s not a fire risk. Be sure to change the filter every month for maximum efficiency.
Tip: to remember to change the filter, mark it on your calendar every month, and do it the same day you pay the mortgage or another monthly bill.
Shut down the draft
Cold air comes in under your door. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30% of energy per year, so use a draft snake, which you can make by filling a tube of fabric with sand or kitty litter, or purchase one. A rolled towel will even do!
Get comfortable with a caulk gun or tube: you can save up to 30% in energy costs if you caulk leaking windows, doors and cracks.
Tip: test for drafts by holding a candle near windows, doors, or where two different building materials meet, like brick and plaster. If the flame flickers then you need to caulk or use weather stripping to seal the leak.
Move furniture and beds away from heating vents
Cold room? Consider moving the bed or couch a few inches away from the wall, freeing up the air coming up from the furnace to circulate freely. Make sure the vents and baseboards are clean and dust free.
Got ceiling fans? Change the direction of the airflow. Since warm air rises, make sure your fans are pushing that warm air down, into your living space.
Prevent heat from leaking from your water heater by wrapping your water heater with a fiberglass insulation blanket. (Do not do this if you have a gas-powered water heater).
It’s a wrap
Wrap any hot water pipes that run through unheated areas of the house. You can do this with cold water pipes too, and help prevent them from freezing.
Not a glamorous chore, but it is one of the most effective ways to keep you home warm and energy bill lower. If you can’t do the walls at this point, make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
Enlist Mother Nature
During the day, open curtains on the south and west side of the house to let the sun shine in. Keep out the cold at night by closing curtains.
Seal your windows
If you have old windows, you will lose a lot of heat. You can have a Pro install an insulating, nearly transparent film on the windows themselves, or find a DIY kit at a local hardware store.
Install storm doors
Adding another pocket of air between the inside rooms of your home and your outside door can help prevent a significant amount of energy loss. Plus, on a warm or sunny winter day you can open up your main door to let sun and light in, while still keeping out cold air.
Still feel like you’re all thumbs? Let us help you find a Pro!