During the winter, heating the home can cause energy expenses to skyrocket. This winter, however, homeowners can actually save money on energy. The right maintenance and strategies can drastically improve a home’s energy efficiency.
Complete Energy-Saving Home Maintenance
It’s never too late to prepare a home for winter. Weatherproofing a home keeps the cold air out, and the heated air in. Homeowners who follow these energy-saving techniques will be well prepared to enjoy decreased energy expenses in every season.
- Check the exterior of the home for holes or gaps. Seal small openings with caulk, and patch larger holes with drywall or sheetrock.
- Inspect the weather-stripping around doors and windows. If necessary, reapply caulk around the windows and replace the foam around doors. Add sweeps to the bottoms of exterior doors.
- Use window locks to keep windows sealed as tightly as possible.
- Clean heating equipment regularly, as clogs can decrease output. Replace the filter furnace as needed.
- Inspect insulation in the basement, attic, ceilings, and exterior walls to ensure that it reaches recommended levels.
- Cover the pool and run the filter for only two hours per day.
- Place aluminum foil on the walls behind each radiator, to reflect heat back inside the room.
Since these measures seal the home, they cut energy costs for both heating and cooling the home. Homeowners can take advantage of winter preparations to get year-round energy savings.
Practice Energy-Conscious Habits
Once a home has been properly prepared for winter, residents can maximize savings by practicing conscientious energy use. Enlisting the entire family in energy conservation builds money-saving habits that last all year.
- Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use, to prevent chilly drafts from entering the house through the chimney.
- Adjust the thermostat to 68 degrees, or the lowest comfortable temperature. For every two-degree adjustment, homeowners save approximately 2% of the electric bill.
- Switch light bulbs to LED lighting. Although LED light bulbs may require some up-front investment, they provide substantial long-term savings.
- Whenever the house will be vacant, turn off the heat altogether. This habit especially pays off if everyone is away at work or school during the week.
- During the day, leave curtains on south-facing windows open and take advantage of solar heat. At night, close all curtains to insulate windows.
- Move furniture and curtains away from radiators, since they absorb heat that would otherwise heat the whole room.
- Close the vents and doors in unused rooms so that empty spaces aren’t heated unnecessarily.
- Turn off vent fans in the bathroom promptly. These can suck warm air out of the house.
- Consider consulting an expert on residential energy management. These professionals have extensive experience helping homeowners save money and protect the environment.
Saving energy in the winter can translate into year-round energy efficiency. Weatherproofing a home and practicing energy-savvy habits can help homeowners save money not only in winter, but throughout the year.