Winter Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Gear up for the coldest time of the year by giving your home a winter makeover. Instead of jacking up your thermostat and adding hundreds of dollars to your heating bill over the next several months, you can keep the cold at bay just by making a few minor adjustments around your home. Air can sneak in and out of your home in all sorts of ways that you might otherwise miss. Use these winter tips to insulate your home from freezing temperatures.
Replace Your Weather-stripping Regularly
Many homeowners simply lapse when it comes to keeping their weather-stripping in mint condition. The caulking around doors and windows tends to deteriorate every few years, so you might want to take a look at the weather-stripping in your home before the coldest months arrive. New weather-stripping won’t cost you a lot, usually $30 or less, and it’s extremely easy to install. Put your hand over the corners of your doors and windows to see if any cold air is sneaking through the cracks.
Insulate Your Electrical Outlets
You might not pay much attention to the electrical outlets around your home, but they’re notorious for harboring drafts. These areas tend to be less insulated then the rest of your home. Unscrew the plate and look for areas where hot air can escape. You can seal these problem areas with a bit of latex caulk or foam sealant. You can also try putting a foam gasket under the plastic plate for more insulation.
Use Plastic Film on Windows and Sliding Glass Doors
Everyone loves a view, but all those large windows and glass doorways can suck the warm air right out of your home. Buy an inexpensive window film kit for an extra layer of insulation. They cost as little as $15 and only take a minute to install. Just unroll the plastic wrap over the entire window or doorway and seal it shut with a blow-dryer. An even better and more efficient alternative is to replace single pane windows with dual pane ones.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Managing the temperature in your home is so much easier when you have a programmable thermostat. These low-cost nifty devices automatically regulate the heat setting, so you don’t have to worry about manually changing the temperature when you go to bed or leave for work. Keeping your home 15 degrees cooler during the day or at night will dramatically cut down your heating bill. If you’re worried that cranking up your thermostat in the morning or when you get home from work will negate these savings, rest assured that you will, in fact, save money.
Inspect the Ductwork and Plumbing Around Your Home
There are plenty of hidden holes and tiny crevices where heat can escape your home. Walk around your home and look for open areas around pipes and ducts. You can seal them with some acrylic caulk or a foam sealant. Mice and other pests can chip away at the openings around ducts and pipes overtime, so it’s important to checkup on these areas every month or so. An HVAC company can also inspect your ductwork that may be located in your attic or basement for rips and tears.