Is your energy bill too high in the winter? Are you looking for ways to cut costs? There are a number of simple things you can do at home to save money. Some of them are bigger projects, but most are simple things you can do in your day-to-day life to help reduce your heat cost this winter.
Air Seal Your Home
Air leaks are where outside air enters your home or where the inside air can escape your home. Reducing this leakage is a very cost-effective way to save money on your home energy bill. Two simple-and-effective techniques are caulking and weatherstripping. If you are building new construction, talk to us about air sealing for your new home.
Adjust Your Temperature
Most of us keep our thermostats up a few degrees higher than we need during the colder months. Turn your thermostat as low as you can while still feeling comfortable. When you are not going to be home, turn it town another 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to have more direct control over your home’s temperature at different times of the day. These thermostats can be a little more expensive up front, but often you will recoup the cost within the season from saved energy.
Insulate Your Attic
We all know that heat rises, and it’s no secret that heat is lost through the roof of your Idaho home. Check the insulation levels in your attic. Be sure you have adequate depth and fill coverage of insulation. You can also have one of our professionals come out for a home-energy test and evaluate your insulation needs.
Cover Your Drafty Windows
You can get plastic window-covering kits at any hardware store. They are relatively inexpensive and will save you quite a bit of energy consumption while increasing your overall comfort level. This is a fairly cheap-and-easy way to save quite a bit of money on your bill.
Use Space Heaters
Depending on how much time you spend in your entire home versus just a few rooms, you may want to invest in a space heater. If your time is spent mainly in one or two rooms, you can turn your thermostat down quite a bit and heat the rooms with an electric space heater. It’s cheaper to heat a small room than to heat an entire house. As always, follow all safety precautions with a space heater.
Dress Warmly Inside
Turn down the thermostat a few degrees and layer up. It can be nice to snuggle in blankets and sweaters on a cold winter’s night. In addition to all this coziness, you’ll save money at the end of the month.
Change Your Furnace Filter
A clean filter is essential to being sure your furnace is running as efficiently as possible. It’s also crucial to maintaining healthy indoor air quality. You should follow your furnace-industry recommendations, but we recommend changing your filter at a minimum of every three to six months. A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your furnace to work harder than it should to maintain a constant temperature.
Have Your Furnace Cleaned and Checked According to the Manufacturer’s Recommendation
This isn’t just about safety—it’s about preventative maintenance. You can catch a problem before your furnace stops working in the middle of the night or on the weekend. This will also ensure your furnace is working at its optimum efficiency, providing you with the most heat for the least cost. Another advantage to regular maintenance is an increased system life span.
Close Your Fireplace Flue
Of course you should always keep your flue open if you are using your fireplace, but be sure you close it when it’s not in use. An open flue is like an open window, and great amounts of heat can escape. According to Indiana Michigan Power, investing in a fireplace flue sealer may be an inexpensive way to prevent air from escaping through the chimney when your fireplace isn’t in use.
Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Most water heaters are set by default to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Check your heater’s temperature, and turn it down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind the less heat required to heat your water, the less you are paying for energy costs. This can slow mineral buildup and corrosion as well.