To most people, the winter is often accompanied by energy bills that go through the roof and leave them in a bad financial state. With this year’s winter approaching, you probably don’t want to be caught up in the mix of wasting energy and end up paying more at the end of the season. You have to find a way to escape the cycle of wastage by adopting methods that will work for your home. If you are in a fix and do not know how to save energy in order to pay less for staying warm during the winter, this article could help.
Most people don’t know that saving energy while warming a home during the winter involves simple and easy methods that are effective in saving money. Definitely, you don’t want to pay more on energy this time round and that’s why we are here. In this post, we show you how to prepare for the upcoming winter season while providing energy saving tips that will greatly reduce your bills.
In most homes, the cooling, heating, and lighting systems contribute the largest portion of energy consumption. By knowing this, you will be in a position to divert much of your attention to these processes when reviewing ways to reduce your energy bills. You should understand that saving energy doesn’t only involve switching off the lights but goes beyond that. You need to work smart because you still want you and your loved ones to stay warm and comfortable during the entire season.
Without much ado, let’s look at ways to save money on heating by following these energy-saving tips.
Tips to save energy and money while heating your home this winter
During the chilly cold winter, we all need a warm place to feel comfortable and healthy away from the cold air outside our homes. One way to get warm is by wearing heavy winter clothing to keep you warm whenever you are outside.
However, you need to heat your home if you want to keep your body warm. Maintaining the warmth can be a bit expensive if you aren’t mindful of saving energy. Nonetheless, there are ways to keep your home super-warm without necessarily paying more.
Here is how to use less energy without compromising the comfort of your home.
Stop the Fireplace Heat Loss
Burning wood at the fireplace is one way of keeping your home warm during the winter season. However, you may find that you are using more firewood to keep your home warm. This comes as a result of the heat escaping from the fireplace out through the chimney and other heat outlets around the fireplace doors. In order to use less firewood to keep your home warm, you should prevent such undeserved heat loss.
If you have a furnace and air conditioner that leaks out heat, make sure that the outlets are sealed off completely and are fitted with the right airtight door. Additionally, make sure the door is installed with the right operable vents that prevent the heat against being leaked out of the house.
Make sure the air filter to the furnace and air conditioner is checked at the start of the season to ensure they are fully operational. Equally, keep checking them regularly as the season progresses. Moreover, check whether they are blocked in order to clean them before the season kicks in. While at it, makes sure to seal off those that are not used frequently. If you can’t do it yourself, you can contact a heating repair near me to work on your vents and filters. You will come to realize that this process has saved you money in the long run.
Fit your Windows with Quilted Curtains to Block Drafts
You can install quilted curtains to maintain the warmth of your house at low temperatures without making you uncomfortable. These curtains can be installed within minutes to cover drafty windows. Besides, they come in a wide variety of colors so that you can choose your favorite or one that can complement your home décor.
Turn Down the Heat and still be Comfortable
Turning down or adjusting your thermostat can take you a long way in saving your money during the winter periods. It is estimated that every degree of the thermostat that is adjusted downwards saves you roughly one percent of your energy bill. Even though this will impact your overall home warming, you can compensate it by putting on heavier clothes in order to stay warm.
Alternatively, you can utilize a space heater to warm up space where you and your family are. Moreover, the fireplace can also provide an excellent space heating option as well as electric heaters that can warm up any space quickly. Oil-filled electric heaters such as fan-forced air conditioners approximately offer the same energy efficiency. However, you ought to turn down the heating degrees so that you don’t incur more costs on electric bills.
Towel warmers don’t save energy but they provide warmth once you are in your bathroom and the home thermostat is adjusted down.
Once you turn down the heating system, try to compensate the heat loss by utilizing other energy saving ways to warm up yourself instead of warming the entire home which can be costly in the long run.
Take advantage of the Sun
Whenever there is sunshine, makes sure that the window blinds are open or the drapes are exposed directly to the sun. Letting the sun heat up the room is a sure way to save money on heating your house. The sun is a natural source of heat and it’s free. Heating can’t get any economical than this! When the night comes, ensure the blinds are closed well and the curtains are covering the cold glass efficiently to keep away coldness.
Cut Energy Bills by Installing Storm Windows
If you have storm windows, you are in a better position of downsizing your energy costs. Some storm windows provide a low-emissivity coating that ensures no heat loss is experienced through the windows.
Statistics from the Department of Energy shows that approximately half of the U.S homes feature single-panel windows that unfortunately are a major medium of heat loss during winter. However, if you install your home with low-emissivity storm windows, you stand a chance of reducing your home heat loss and saving money on energy by up to 50 percent.
You can choose to install your low-emissivity storm windows over single-pane windows in order to leap much at saving your money. Nonetheless, it is important to note that you can’t use them over the aluminum single-pane windows. Why is that? Once there is a heat buildup between these two windows, the heat can easily damage the aluminum while drilling of the holes can result in heat loss through leakages.
Seal all the Air Leaks
Leaks found in various homes are to a great extent responsible for a great percentage of heat loss. Sealing such air leaks will allow you to contain heat within your home cost-effectively as opposed to when the air leaks are left open.
These air leaks can be fixed by use of a caulking gun and spray foam. Wider leaks can be sealed by use of the backer rod. After closing the leaks you will find that caulk from the inside of doors is much durable than one on the outsides since the outdoor side is always exposed to sunlight, rain, as well as to the shrinking and stretching of adjacent materials owing to the constant change of temperatures.
This means that you need weather-stripping products to seal the air leaks around the doors completely for long-term purposes. If you use seals that you rub on the surface, you are likely to come back to seal again since they do not last. Moreover, the bottom of your door should be sealed with a saddle so that the weather stripping materials along the bottom seal the air leaks effectively.
Leaks found at the foundation should be sealed off by use of mortar if they are large, while the smaller ones can be sealed by caulk.
Windows are also prone to air leaks that can be carefully sealed by use of caulk if they aren’t so big. The bigger leaks, on the other hand, can be sealed off by caulk and foam.
Use attic Insulation
An extra attic insulation will take you a long way to saving your energy money. For most homes, especially the older ones, the insulation of an attic plays a great role at mitigating heat loss from its interior space. You can use either loose fill of up to 13-inch thick or up to 19-inch thick of fiberglass. To be certain on the required level of attic insulation, you can consult heating and air near me.
As the winter season approaches, just look through the attic access door and see the level of insulation you got. If it is below the recommended level, make haste and fill it to the required amount in order to prevent heat loss during the winter season.
Preferably, consider using loose fill insulation instead of fiberglass. Loose fill insulation is made from cellulose, which means that it will enable you to cover everything from the crevices to the joists. You can insulate the attic all by yourself by renting a blower from heating repair near me at a much lesser cost than when hiring a professional to have the attic insulated. However, it’s a messy task and you ought to be watchful every step you take when up there lest you come down with the dry floor of the attic.
Make Use of Your Ceiling Fans
Maybe all you know is your ceiling fans are only important during the hot summer season to cool down your home. However, they can also be used during the winter season. During summer, your fan can be running anti-clockwise to lift up the hot air while letting the cold air come down hence achieving a cool home during summer. But if you let your ceiling fan run clockwise, it will contain the warm air within the room keeping you warm during the chilly winter season.
Carry Out an Energy Audit
Just before the onset of winter, carrying out an energy audit of your entire home will save you energy money up front. This is something that takes no more than three hours tops. With the right equipment, you can carry out an energy audit on your own. Alternatively, you can contact heating and air near me to get the audit done. From the audit, you can get a detailed report on what you ought to do to improve your home’s energy efficiency and to cut down heat loss while you save money. For a DIY, the following tools can get you started.
- Screwdriver 4-in-1
- Cordless drill
- Caulk gun
- Infrared thermometer
Required materials for repairs and improvements
- Quilted curtains
- Towel warmer
- Airtight fireplace door
- Storm windows
- Loose-fill insulation
- Space heater
Buying these materials now will help you save money because their prices are likely to hike during the winter.
Undoubtedly, you will be much more comfortable and at peace when warming up your home and saving money while at it. However, this will only happen if you follow the aforementioned energy saving tips. You don’t have to break the bank to have a warm home during every winter season. Just be smart in planning for the upcoming winter season and see the difference yourself.