Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather
Energy Saving Tips
With winter fast approaching, make sure your home is prepared for cooler temperatures. Take these steps to winterize your home so that it may withstand the changes in temperature, and retain heat efficiently to save money on energy bills.
You can prevent property damage and reduce your energy bills to enjoy significant savings by implementing some simple procedures around the home including:
- Check for drainage around the foundation of your home. If any soil has settled into a lower spot where water may pool, simply fill it in with some more soil to prevent from rain gathering, freezing, and thawing in the area throughout the season, which may damage the foundation.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that they are working properly. With heaters on during the winter, there is an increased risk for fires and carbon monoxide leaks.
- Clean your gutters to prevent water from overflowing onto your house which may erode the exterior.
- Have your chimney swept so that it is safe and clear to use for those warm, cozy fires.
- Replace an older furnace with a more efficient Energy Star-certified furnace and you can save 50% or more on your heating bills. Installing an Energy Star furnace compared to a new standard furnace model can save 15-20%. Having a furnace tune-up can save up to 5% of heating costs by keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted.
- Check the flames on your furnace to ensure they burn an efficient blue color. If flame is not burning blue have your furnace inspected by a qualified heating specialist. Never attempt any appliance repair or modifications yourself.
- Caulking and weather-stripping simple leaks around doors and windows can improve a home’s energy efficiency by 5-30% according to the Department of Energy. For windows that are drafty and closed during the winter, install plastic window insulation using kits available at hardware stores.
- Insulating and sealing your home by a knowledgeable contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on total annual energy bills) according to energystar.gov.
- Replace old windows. Installing high-efficiency Energy Star-qualified windows in a typical home can save $126-$465 a year when replacing old single-pane windows or $27-$111 a year when replacing double-pane, clear glass windows. Installing a storm door seals out cold drafts and increases efficiency by 45%.
- Covering crawlspace vents with vent covers keeps heat in the crawl space and reduces the amount of cold air blowing under your home keeping floors warmer.
- Shutting registers and closing doors to rooms that aren't being used reduces energy consumption. Move furniture and draperies away from registers or radiators.
- Wrapping your hot water heater with fiberglass insulation helps to keep your pipes warm, saving money on heating water and the possibility of frozen pipes.
- Removing window air conditioners for the season or wrapping them with heavy-duty plastic sheeting will keep out cold air and reduce heating costs.
- Installing an automatic timer thermostat lowers the temperature when you are asleep and away at work saving between 1-3% of your heating bill for every degree you lower the thermostat.
- Replacing your furnace filter once a month keeps your furnace working efficiently, saving you money on heating bills and furnace maintenance.
This winter, keep cold from sneaking in and money from sneaking out by preparing your home to combat cold weather. Implementing these energy-saving tips reduces your energy consumption and saves you money. Also, taking preventative measures to protect you and your house will give you peace of mind while you safely and comfortably enjoy your winter season.