You can keep your home warm in winter and save big on energy bills when you enter the world of DIY! Believe it or not, the easy-to-do hacks that follow can help you achieve both.
6 Easy Ways to Save Money While Keeping Warm…
1. Completely Cover Drafts
The two most common ways that cold winds silently sneak into the home is through windows and doors. To keep your home warm and lower heating bills in the winter, start by covering all your drafty windows and doors.
Buy thick plastic sheets and cover window frames, ensuring that all the gaps are perfectly closed. Use tape or adhesive to stick the plastic sheet on the frame, and make sure that the windows are sealed right and tight to bring down the rate of infiltration. Another alternative is to invest in closely held shades or drapes that will restrict the flow of air inside the house. Similarly for doors (especially the entrance door) use plastic sheets to seal the gaps.
2. Fine-Tune the Thermostat
Adjust the temperature of the thermostat and keep it as low as possible (without sacrificing comfort) when you are indoors. When you step out of the house or prepare for bed, turn the temperature of the thermostat down between 10° to 15° for about nine hours. This way, you can save over 10 percent on electricity bills (during both summer and winter).
Buy a programmable thermostat — a programmable thermostat makes adjustments according to schedule and use easy.
3. Identify Leaks
There are always nooks and crannies in a house that can let chills in, like the pipe joints, chimneys, lights mounted on the ceiling, spaces between closets, or broken tiles and knobs. These are small openings that often escape the eye when you are proactively looking for larger gaps in the house.
Start the sealing process by inspecting the entire house (ideally before winter) and identify the gaps that need a quick fix. Use caulk, a plastic sheet or apply weather stripping to close leaks as needed. Seal or cement cracks in the ceiling or walls to close up air leaks.
4. Get Heating Systems Checked and Serviced
To do away with the hassle (and extra expense) of last-minute repairs and replacements, get your heating system serviced before winter hits.
• Hire a professional service agency and have all your heating devices inspected and serviced. Invest in a cost-effective maintenance plan to ensure that your HVAC system works at top efficiency.
• Keep your furnace system up and working by replacing the filters when required.
• For wood-and-pellet heaters, it is essential that the flue vent be cleaned inside and out to keep the home heated evenly.
5. Rearrange Your Furniture
A few changes in your furniture setup can also help you save big on your heating bills.
• Bring sofa sets and chairs closer to the fireplace and away from windows or doors.
• Place a rug in the living room for added warmth and coziness.
• Don’t place a sofa or couch near radiators — they will absorb heat.
6. Lower Heat Loss From the Fireplace
People end up spending a lot of time near the fireplace to keep themselves comfortable and cozy during the winter. In order to both cut costs and keep the house warm, there are certain things to keep in mind when using your fireplace. (Note: To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning be sure to have your fireplace inspected by a professional prior to attempting to use.)
• In case the fireplace remains unused, you should seal the chimney flue.
• Those using the fireplace regularly should get a set of tempered doors installed along with a heat-air exchange mechanism that throws warm air directly inside the room.
• Seal the flue damper on the fireplace to ensure that it is properly sheltered.
• Use caulking around the hearth of the fireplace.
• Install grates made from C-shaped metal tubes for uniform circulation of air from the fireplace.
Follow these quick and easy tricks, and you can enjoy your winters with a cup of hot chocolate near the fireplace, while reading your favorite novel, all tucked under the quilt.
This post was written by Dan McKee. Dan heads up marketing efforts and provides digital marketing strategies to the marketing team at Service Champions in California. You can find him on Twitter @dan_mc_kee.