Heating bills are one of the most significant expenses that many homeowners have. When you’re looking to cut costs without cutting comfort, focusing on small changes can add up to big differences. Here are some simple energy efficiency tips to stay warm during the winter months.
Get Rid of Drafts and Leaks
When your home has cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and pipes, it can allow warm air to escape and cold air to seep in. There are many ways to seal gaps, and weatherstripping and caulking are two of the most cost-effective ways to do so. You can also install window film over your windows for the winter months and remove it in the summer. You should also examine your attic and basement for potential drafts.
Bundle Up in Layers
One of the best ways to increase your energy efficiency is layering your clothes and wearing slippers. Lowering your thermostat a single degree can lead to significant savings on your heating bills and dramatically improve your energy efficiency. At night, make sure you have enough bedding and blankets on every bed so that you stay warm while you sleep.
Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature
Other than the heat flowing out of your vents, the energy used to heat water in your home is another significant cost. Did you know that your water heater has a thermostat that maintains the water in the tank at a specific temperature? Lowering the maximum temperature can still give you warm, pleasant water but at major cost savings since the water heater doesn’t need to maintain such high temperatures.
Open the Curtains in the Day and Close Them at Night
Sun can naturally heat your home, but only if you take time to open the drapes. Using the sun’s rays to warm your home is known as the greenhouse effect, and it’s a free way to maximize your energy efficiency. Make sure that you close your drapes at night to avoid losing heat through the windows once temperatures drop.
Use a Space Heater
Today’s space heaters have safety and energy efficiency features built in. If you spend most of the day in your home office or only use one bedroom at night, a space heater can help keep you comfortable without needing to heat up the whole house. Make sure you close the door to keep the heat in an enclosed space as much as possible. Never leave the space heater running if you are leaving the house and avoid setting your thermostat below 55 to protect your plumbing.
Change Your Furnace Filter
HVAC filters that are dirty and filled with dust and debris make your furnace work harder to heat your home. Aside from reducing the indoor air quality, this can also decrease energy efficiency and increase your bills. If you have kids or indoor allergies, use your furnace frequently, or live in an area with high levels of air pollution, you should change your filter once a month. If not, you should change it once a quarter.