Are you paying too much on your monthly heating bill? Utilities are one of the biggest monthly expenses for homeowners but why pay more than you need? Using these simple steps you can make your home more energy efficient and save money this season.
Heat Yourself Up
It seems simple but bundling up when you’re inside can help you save big on your heating bill. Put on those big wooly socks, an extra layer and you’ll be toasty in no time. Keep extra blankets around the house so you can cozy up wherever you are.
Adjust The Thermostat
You will save around $3 on your heating bill by every degree that you turn your thermostat down. When you’re away from home or at work consider turning down the thermostat a few degrees to lower costs. You can also reduce your bill by turning the heat down when you’re sleeping. Install a programmable thermostat so you have the option to set your heat temperature at different times of the day.
This is a free source of heat so get it while you can. When the sun is shining open the curtains and let the warmth inside. You’d be surprised at how quickly this can heat up your home.
Scale Down Your Water Temperature
Your water can account for about 15% of your utility bill. This is a large amount that can easily be cut back by shortening the lengths of showers. You should also try turning your water heater down to 120 degrees fahrenheit which is a safe temperature to kill pathogens but keep from scalding your skin.
Install A Ceiling Fan
Although they don’t control room temperature, ceiling fans contribute to better ventilation in the home. You can use fans to your advantage positioning them to circulate the air around where you want.
Seal Off Unused Space
Lower your bill by diminishing the amount of space that you heat. Close the vents for rooms in the house that are unused like a guest bedroom. Keep the doors closed and seal off any other vacant spaces. Why heat what you’re not using?
Fill Open Holes
Take 15 minutes and check around your house for any holes that might be letting air in. Be sure all of your windows and doors are sealed properly. Check under the sink and where other pipes or cables may exist in the home, there may be openings or gaps that aren’t filled. Use an expanding foam sealant to cover the gaps. Keeping out any chilly outside air from getting is a sure fire way to keep the heat inside your home.
Examine Your Fireplace
Heat loss is bound to happen when you have a fireplace. Rule of thumb number one, always keep the damper closed unless you’re having a fire. Heat rises and if the damper is open all of your nice warm air is going to get sucked up outside. Get your fireplace inspected by a certified chimney sweep. They can inform of any changes that could be beneficial to make sure your fireplace is as efficient as possible.
Maintaining your homes heating system is fundamental to an efficient home. Be sure to change your furnace filter monthly and have the furnace itself inspected often.
Good insulation is the best way to keep the warm air inside your house. If you have an older home and have not replaced the insulation it is probably time to update. You can get an inspector to come and check out your attic to assess if your insulation should be replaced or if more should be added. Insulation R-Values differ per state and if you don’t know what you’re looking for check out Energy.gov for the recommendations.
Save on extra expenses by replacing old torn weatherstripping. This is very important to eliminate any cold air that filters in through the weather stripping. Windows and doors are main exit points of air for your home. Check the caulking around the outside and make sure to seal any cracks around the framing.
Energy Efficient Holiday Decorating
The holidays are a festive time of year but your energy bill can skyrocket quickly. If you have the option to, set timers for your lights so they run only a few hours each night. Limiting your light usage can be very cost effective. You can save even more money by switching to energy efficient LED lighting. LED lights use around 80% less energy than normal incandescent bulbs.