Being a new home owner living in a northern climate, I'm trying to figure out what I can do to best cut down on my heat bill. I've already researched pipe wrap insulation, and did my pipes. What else can I do to save some money?
I live in a heat controlled apartment, so I have plastic on windows to try to keep out the draft and coldness from coming in, and to prevent whatever heat I do have inside from escaping.
Install a water tank insulation blanket. Add insulation to the attic. Caulk window and door moldings. Make sure the door sweep and threshold are in good condition. Keep exterior doors closed at all times they are not actually being used to enter or exit. Use rubber backed draperies and open them in the daytime when sunlight can come in. Turn off unused lighting. Unplug unused electronics that remain "on" to some degree (anything with a remote). Install and use ceiling fans to circulate air. Lower the thermostat. Use CFC (curly) light bulbs or LED's. If the house is unoccupied much of the day, use a programmable thermostat (probably not on a heat pump). Lower the thermostat on the hot water tank. Wash clothes in cold water only. Take short showers instead of baths. Use a humidifier/dehumidifier as necessary, depending on your climate. If faucets are a long ways from hot water, consider installation of point of use water heaters.
When you've finished these, come back - there are lots more.
There's the small stuff that gets overlooked. Install foam gaskets behind switch plates and outlet covers. Hardware stores and home improvement centers have pre-cut gaskets. Just turn the power off to the switches and outlets before taking the cover plates off.
Caulking around windows and doors is essential. if you have a crawl space, get under there and caulk areas of the foundation where light is shining through with a foam. Close the foundation vents for the winter.
Install foam weatherstrip around doors and windows. Speaking of doors, check the area between the bottom of exterior doors and the floor. Consider installing door sweeps or a new threshold. If nothing else, place towels at the bottom of the door to keep out drafts.
Buy an electric mattress topper and set your thermostat at a lower setting at night. The mattress topper will warm you from below and the blankets above it will trap the heat, keeping you much warmer. In the morning, set the thermostat back to the temperature that you normally set it to. Having a programmable thermostat makes things easier.
Wrap your water heater in insulation if its older than 2004. Insulated the first 5' of water pipes from your water heater. Lower the temperature on your water heater. Chance furnace filter in time. Install programmable thermostat and lower temperature at night and when you are not home. Add insulation in the attic. Keep your fireplace damper shut. Seal joints in heating system duct work. Use energy star rated light bulbs. Don't open your oven door when you cook. Install low water flow shower head and faucets. Put your computer to sleep when not used, and turn off lights in rooms no one are present.
Stop drafts from windows and doors by adding caulking or plastic covering. Open drapes/curtains when you go to work and let the sun heat up your house.
Do all or most of these things and utility bill will be ALLOT lower!
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