Fans of Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day already know that our esteemed weather prognosticator foresees six more weeks of winter. This likely isn’t good news for your wallet, especially if you use electricity to generate your heat. Following last year’s brutally cold winter, you’ve hopefully taken some additional steps to winterize your home, as even small, inexpensive projects can make a significant difference in your heating bill. If you haven’t taken steps already there’s still time and even if you have been proactive in winterizing your home, there may be some additional ways to save money with minimal investment.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite home winterization tricks and tips that can get you through an extra six weeks of winter. These are all simple and cheap ways to winterize your home, and can hopefully save you money in the long run!
- Stop the Draft – Windows and doors are likely among the top energy wasters in your home. Drafts from windows, doors, and chimneys all work against your home heating efforts. You can purchase draft guards, insulation film or weather-strip tape, and fireplace doors to protect against this energy loss, but simple solutions like a rolled up towel at the base of drafty doorways, bubble wrap over drafty windows, or chimney balloons for when the fireplace is not in use work too.
- Keep it Cooler – Programmable or smart thermostats are an excellent option to help you control your heating costs. Setting your thermostat just a few degrees lower can make a significant difference on your heating bill. Wear layers and utilize blankets if you typically are on the cooler side. Even if you can’t take the cooler air when you’re at home, you can turn it down when you’re off to work or going to bed.
- The Water Heater – Your water heater is a good place to cut dollars off of your heating bill. Flushing the water heater can improve performance if sediment has collected and help keep it running efficiently. Lowering the temperature can also save you money. Water heaters are traditionally set at 140 degrees, but by lowering the gauge to 120 degrees you can still be comfortable while saving money. These are all easily manageable options that don’t cost you a cent.
- Manage Ceiling Fans and Blinds – Since warm air rises, you need a way to pull down that warmer air off of your ceiling. Reversing your ceiling fan spinning direction from counter-clockwise to clockwise will send this warmer air down towards the floor. Open your blinds and let the sun warm the rooms during the day, and remember to close them at night to help trap that warm air inside.
These are all simple, cost-effective ways to help lower those dreadful winter heating bills. Feel free to share some of your own tips on our social pages located at the bottom of this page, and bookmark this page for next year’s winter season. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has also put together this helpful video of additional ideas to winterize your home that we encourage you to check out.