Winterizing your home can help save the environment–and save you money too.
If you think reducing your carbon footprint is important, you are going to want to reduce the energy usage of your home. Home energy usage accounts for a large portion of the overall energy consumption in the United States, that means reducing your energy consumption, by winterizing your home, can have a big impact–both on the environment and on your wallet.
And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating is by far the biggest energy hog, accounting for 40 percent of home energy usage. It just takes more energy to bring your home up to a comfortable temperature in the winter than is does to cool in the summer. Also according to the U.S. Department of Energy, by regularly turning your thermostat back 10 degrees for 8 hours (like when you are asleep or at work), you can save five to 10 percent a year on your home heating bill.
There are other ways you reduce your energy consumption besides cutting back your thermostat, just read on for some easy ideas for winterizing your home you can implement this season.
Tips for Winterizing Your Home
- Home Energy Audit – Invest in a professional home energy audit to learn how to make the most of winterizing your home. A home energy audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable. A home energy audit is a great first step for making energy-saving home improvements.
- Furnace Maintenance – Clean and replace furnace filters regularly and schedule furnace maintenance yearly to keep your furnace running efficiently.
- Rooms/Spaces Not in Use – One easy tip for winterizing your home is to close off rooms that are not in use regularly, like guest bedrooms and storage areas. Don’t heat spaces you don’t need to heat. Also, keep closet doors closed–there’s no need to heat your clothes!
- Water Heater – Insulate your water heater to help it run more efficiently–especially if it is in the basement or other unheated space.
- Space Heaters – Avoid using space heaters as they can be real energy hogs. If you must use a space heater, make sure to use one that is rated as an Energy Star product.
- Weather-stripping – Install weather-stripping around doors and windows to provide extra insulation and keep out drafts is another easy fix for winterizing your home.
- Thermostat – Installing a programmable thermostat can help you better manage your energy usage and help you save money on your energy bills. You can program to automatically lower when you are are at work and asleep.
- Seal Air Leaks – Sealing off air leaks in your home will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Apply caulk around windows, apply insulation to attic hatches, and adding foam insulation behind electrical outlets are all examples of how you can better control air leaks.
- Ceiling Fans – If your home has ceiling fans, use them. Ceiling fans aren’t only for cooling, but when the direction is reversed, they can help push warm air trapped up at the ceiling down where it is needed.
- Window Insulation – If you can’t afford to replace those older windows, cover them with window insulation kits to help manage drafts. If you have storm windows, use them too. Windows and doors are among the most common ways energy is wasted int the home.
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Image: House in Winter via Shutterstock