Winter is here across the U.S. and with it some bitterly cold temperatures. I mean cold like let’s say in the minus and teens. This can drive up your heating costs, meaning money that can be used elsewhere if you have a good heating efficiency plan. There are a lot of things that you can do with minimum effort to make your home more energy efficient.
First off try installing a smart thermostat, this small addition can greatly enhance your energy-saving efforts. A smart thermostat has the ability to be programmed so that it will reduce the heat in your home at night or when you’re not at home. It works in this manner for cooling your house as well.
Installing just this small device will greatly lower your energy cost. It can even sense your habits and make the necessary adjustments to
keep you and your family warm.
Second try draft excluders, this is really a simple device that is very easy to make yourself, but you can buy them at any hardware store. Stores sell them premade with various types of materials to insulate your windows and doors. They can be made relatively easily by just rolling up an old towel and placing it at the bottom of a door or window where a draft is coming through. Use your imagination as to the material use might use to make an excluder, just think insulation.
A third thing you can do is install storm doors and windows. If you’re halfway handy at DIY then doing this is not difficult to do. If you’re not that handy with a hammer and nails you can hire a professional to do it at a reasonable cost. Simply by doing this, you can increase the energy efficiency of your home by 45 percent.
The fourth thing would be to close seal up any gaps around the windows, vents and door jams. This is easily done with chaulking and or rubber foam insulated tape that has adhesive on one side. Yes make sure all gaps are filled with sealant and that door jams are filled also with insulated tape. You’ll be surprised how much you will save just by doing this simple task and you’ll save money.
Another great thing you can do to reduce energy waste is to use a water heater blanket that wraps around your water heater to insulate it thus reducing heat loss and so reducing your natural gas consumption. In turn, this reduces your water heating bill allowing your home to use the gas needed for heating water to be used to heat your home.
The sixth thing that you can do is check your walls to see if the insulation in the walls has packed down over the years. This is especially true in older homes that were built before the 70s. In these homes, over time the insulation packs down so that the insulation is only half the way up the wall. This leaves 4 feet up the wall that isn’t insulated thus letting cold air in.
To check to see if this has happened an app can be installed on your cell phone that can see through your wall to determine if indeed the insulation has packed down. Another way to do this is to drill holes in your wall starting from the ceiling down until you get to some insulation on your drill. The latter method is a bit time consuming, but it will get the job done.
Get those water pipes insulated too. Most people don’t really think about doing this, but it can save you a boatload of money by just doing this simple thing. When you insulate your pipes it keeps the heat where it needs to be, in the water not dissipating into the atmosphere. You can do this easily with pre-cut foam that goes around the pipe that comes in different sizes for the different size pipes.
Be clean, I mean keep your vent filter clean by changing it on a regular basis. Clean the vents and anything attached to them. A dirty system only makes your heater work harder thus you use more energy and in turn cost you more money. Next just try bundling up with a nice warm sweater, flannel or hoodie.
You will find that doing these things will help you keep your heating cost down this winter.