How to Save Energy and Money in Winter

Winter is approaching and so are high energy bills. Heating a home is not cheap by any means. There are 10 winterizing tips for an energy efficient home to help save money while keeping the home nice and warm.

1.  Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can help you save a lot of money. The average household spends around 50 to 70 percent of their energy bill on heating alone. You can program the thermostat at a specific temperature and the home will adjust to your comfort level. If can even lower the temperature if you are not home or sleeping. Every single degree that you lower your thermostat can save you as much as 3 percent on your energy bill. This thermostat will allow you to be comfortable and save a lot of money.

2. Draft Excluders

These excluders will be able to help the home stay warm. A draft in the home can waste up to 30 percent of the energy consumption that the home is used. You can purchase a draft excluder or make one. A rolled up towel can be placed against the bottom of the door and this will work well.

3. Storm Door and Windows

While it make time some time for you to install these storm doors and windows it will be worth it. You can make your home up to 45 percent more energy efficient.

4. Check for Gaps

Even the smallest gap or opening that is found around the door frame, the windows, and other joints can allow hot air to escape out of the home. Be sure that all windows including the window frames are properly sealed. Weather stripping can help fill the gaps. If there is damage around the frames you may need to caulk it.

Be sure to check the entry points where wires and pipes enter or exit your home. Check the chimney and the corners of the home as well. To find the areas where your home is losing heat light a stick of incense. Move this stick along the doors and the windows where you think there is a gap. If the smoke begins to wave you have found where the gap is.

5. Add Insulation

One of the best ways to winterize your home is to make sure you have enough insulation. Add the insulation between the walls and gaps around the windows. Even adding insulation to the open space in the attic can help keep in the home.

6. Insulate the Pipes

When winterizing the home it is important to make sure the pipes stay warm as well. Energy and heat from the home can get out through the hot water pipes. This will also make the water heater work harder. If the pipes are cold the water heater will need to use more energy in order to get the water up to temperature. To insulate the pipes you can get a precut foam fitting and install it directly on the pipes.

7. Maintain the Heating System

Many people forget that they need to keep their heating system clean. The furnace filter should be changed once every three months. Radiators, baseboard heaters, and vents should be cleaned often to remove dust and other buildup. If the heating system is dirty it will need to work harder to provide heat and this will use more energy.

8. Monitor Energy Usage

A smart meter or even an app on your smartphone can be used to tell you how much energy your home is using and the peak times for this energy consumption. You can also see where you are using the most energy. This information is provided in real time. You can even get weekly and monthly reports on your energy usage. This will allow you to see where most of your energy consumption is and take measures to conserve energy. You can also look for areas of energy waste.

9. Dress for the Season

During the winter months you should not be walking around your home in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. This will require that you raise the temperature in the room. Find a comfortable sweater and a nice blanket to use while at home. You can still be warm and not have to turn the heat up as high.

10. Get a Chimney Balloon

If you have an old chimney and are not using it hot air is escaping from the home. A chimney balloon will keep the air in and allow you to use less energy.

These tips will help you save energy during the winter months. You checkbook and the environment will thank you for following these tips.

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