It's been a tough winter so far and Old Man Winter isn't budging for a while longer. Are you doing what you can do to protect your home and keep your energy costs down?
Here's a list of tips for saving energy to make your heating bill as slim as possible:
- Duck the Drafts-- You can do this easily by placing a rolled mat under the drafty doors in your house. If you want to take it a step further, you could purchase a duct snake. They work wonders!
- Change the Filters in Your Furnace-- Changing the filters is very important to keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible. It's recommended that you change your furnace filters once a month during the heating season. When they are dirty they can restrict airflow and make your furnace work harder.
- Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse-- the warm air near the ceiling is circulated back down into your living space and can cut your heating costs as much as 10%!
- Winterize Your AC and Water Lines-- Drain any unused hoses and pipes during the winter from excess water lines or AC lines. If you're able to do so, turn off exterior water spigots.
- Install Storm Doors and Windows-- this can increase your energy efficiency by 45%!
- Do a Furnace Tune Up-- Many utility companies or heating companies will offer a free annual checkup. Also, you can also call the manufacturer of your furnace unit to see if they offer a free or discounted checkup or tune up. If you do need a new one, don’t forget to check around for tax credits!
- Invest in a Programmable Thermostat-- Having a programmable thermostat helps with those times that you are not in the house. There's no sense in paying when no one is there!
- Window Insulation-- If you have older windows, consider investing in new efficient windows. You could even qualify for a federal tax credit.
- Caulking and weather-stripping-- Leaks can be very costly in energy efficiency. They could cost you as much as 5%-30%! Investigate corners, chimney, exits around wires and pipes, and along the foundation closely for leaks.
- Increase Insulation and Insulate Your Pipes-- Adding some more insulation between the walls and making sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered is a good way to save energy and money. Insulating your pipes can decrease the chance of them freezing. Check with your insurance agent about whether you would be covered if your pipes busted!
- Sealing those Ducts-- Studies have shown 10% to 30% of air in a heating or cooling system escapes from your ducts. PLUS, properly sealed ducts can also protect you more against mold, dust, and other irritants.