Are you struggling to pay your energy bills during the winter season? If so, you are not alone. With cold weather, comes the challenges of keeping your home warm, pipes from freezing and even eliminating cold spots that might be present in areas within your house.
Things You Will Need
Step 1Seal it Up: Cracks around the edges of windows and doors are often the biggest culprits of heat loss within the home and take a hefty toll on your energy bills. Check all windows and doors carefully for cracks by feeling for drafts or look for light coming through. You can do this by going outside at night or in the dark and seeing if you can see light shining through the woodwork and door jams. In older homes it's best to assume that you do have heat loss and to seal all windows and doors. To seal the edges apply weather stripping and caulking to keep the cold out and the heat in.
Step 2Arrange Furniture for Efficiency: Make sure that heating vents aren't blocked by furniture placed over or in front of them. If possible, place couches and chairs away from exterior walls so you aren't sitting in drafty areas of your home.
Step 3Use the Sun: Open draperies and blinds during the day to let the sun shine in! The sun will actually heat your home for free on sunny days. Close them tightly at night or if you have windy conditions.
Step 4Close up Your Fireplace: Traditional fireplaces are an energy drain on your heating bills. They pull the heated air out of the house and up the chimney when not in use. If you are not using your old fireplace, close the damper. Make sure when you do this that all smoldering embers are out if you have recently used your fireplace. If you decide that you will not be using your fireplace at all during the winter, then block off the chimney with a piece of rigid insulation as most dampers will not seal off the chimney off completely. You can purchase the insulation from the hardware store or a do-it-yourself center. Make sure to cut the insulation so that it fits snugly into the space. You can also seal the fireplace from the inside with good glass doors which retain the appeal of having a fireplace.
Step 5Bundle up at Bedtime: You can save as much as 15% on your heating and energy costs just by turning down the thermostat at nights! Turn it down to 60 degrees for real nighttime savings. Even better, install a programmable thermostat to efficiently heat your home and achieve greater savings. The small up-front cost of replacing your thermostat with a programmable thermostat is minor and can even be done yourself. It will definitely pay for itself in a very short time.
Heat up Cold Spots: If you have cold spots in your home, consider a convection, radiant, or fan-forced heater to meet the need of warming up a small space without running your furnace. By running these smaller heaters for a short periods of time just when needed, you will have an efficient, economical and safe solution for heating those cold spots. Beware of using older models that were high energy users.By making a few modifications in your home and habits you can reap huge energy savings. Sometimes this requires a little bit of a lifestyle adjustment for family members but if they understand the savings involved it will be easier to convert to these changes.