Keep your home warm this winter and cut down on your heating bills by improving your home’s energy efficiency. Use these five money-saving tips to help retain the heat inside your home and stay comfortable this winter season, starting with the basics.
1. Winter Warmer Basics
You can do several things to help keep your home warm this winter that won’t cost you a dime:
- Close the chimney flue when the fireplace isn’t in use.
- If you have to use the ceiling fan, run it clockwise at the slowest speed.
- Ensure no furniture blocks floor air vents.
- Take advantage of warm sunlight during the day by opening your shades, then close curtains when the sun goes down.
- Reduce door drafts with a DIY ‘door snake.’
2. Improve your HVAC System
Homeowners rely heavily on their HVAC systems to keep their homes warm in winter. Heating and cooling account for more than half of American household annual energy consumption. You can save up to 10% on heating costs each year by simply turning your thermostat down by 7-10°F for eight hours a day. This is where a programmable thermostat can save you money. Set the temperature to 68°F while you’re awake and lower the temperature while you’re asleep or out of the house. Have your HVAC serviced by an authorized technician to ensure it’s performing at an optimal level. Change the air filters regularly to help improve air quality and energy efficiency.
3. Seal or Replace Windows
Heat loss through windows is responsible for more than 25% of residential heating costs. Check your windows for air leaks. If you can feel a slight breeze, you may need to reapply weatherstripping or external caulking to create a tighter seal. For optimum energy efficiency, replace your windows with ENERGY STAR® certified windows, which can lower energy bills and help retain the heat inside your home.
4. Add Attic Insulation
As hot air rises and escapes through the roof, it’s essential to have sufficient attic insulation. Attic insulation can help prevent air leaks and ice dams from forming on the roof. Attic insulation works to maintain the temperature in your home and takes some pressure off your HVAC system, helping to reduce energy costs.
5. Upgrade Your Siding
If you’re getting ready to replace your siding, consider insulated vinyl siding options. Insulated siding has an additional layer of rigid insulation permanently adhered to the product. This extra insulation layer fights thermal bridging by covering the outside wall studs, which account for 25% of heat loss.