Ten Winter Home Improvements That Would Save You Cash In The Long Run
The coming winter will no doubt leave Americans with low temperature which will send utility bills skyrocketing for the unprepared. You might be unable to do anything about the weather however, you can make your home more energy efficient and pay for less heating. There are a lot of tweaks a homeowner can make to the home that would make the home more energy efficient. The logic is to keep the warm air in and cold air out. There are several measures that you can take to accomplish these goals, from inexpensive do-it yourself repairs to more pricey renovations which requires you to hire a contractor. The following are ten home improvements that would save you from skyrocketing energy bills.
1.CAULK AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS AND SEAL UP CRACKS
By caulking around windows and doors and sealing up cracks in the home, you are ensuring that whatever heat produced by your heater remains in for a longer period of time. Ensure that you consider sealing around the heating ducts in the basement and attic. If necessary, add or replace weather stripping.
2. INSTALL GLASS DOORS AND REDUCE HEAT LOSS FROM YOUR FIREPLACE
Glass doors keep cold air from coming down into your house and warm air from escaping. Also keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. If you use your fireplace, ensure you close the flue when you are finished.
3. SEAL YOUR HOME’S CAN LIGHTS
One of the factors that contribute to air leaks in a home are recessed lights found in the ceiling. Many old lights are actually vented on purpose to keep from being overheated by the light bulb. They are called non-IC or non-insulation contact rated cans. Because warm air rises, an unsealed can light below the roof will keep the pressure on your heater sustained. It is a good idea to remove the existing ring of this can and seal the can’s perimeter with caulk. The inside of the can should also be sealed with caulk to prevent warm air from escaping into the attic.
4. INSTALL A SMART THERMOSTAT
Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat is one of the latest innovation effort directed at energy efficiency. They not only allow you control the device from your iphone or computer, they also let you know when to expect significant temperature swings and when the filter needs to be changed. A smart thermostat allows you to optimize your home energy efficiency and will save you hundreds of dollars yearly if used right.
5. INSULATE YOUR ATTIC DOOR
Attic door insulators are affordable and easy to procure. They are also easy to install. They can help you reduce your energy costs substantially during winter.
6. MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING APPLIANCES
One of the ways you can make your home more energy efficient is to service your heating appliances. As winter approaches, make sure that you schedule maintenance for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently. Ensure you replace you furnace filter as soon as it is needed.
7. CHOKE YOUR CHIMNEY
A tightly closed damper prevents up to eight percent of furnace heated air from going up the chimney. According to the Department of Energy, a lit Fireplace sends about 24,000 cubic feet of furnace heated air up to your chimney every hour. This is replaced by cold air that comes in an opposite direction through the same chimney thereby causing your furnace to work extra hard. Ensure that you choke your chimney during winter.
8. INSTALL STORM WINDOWS
On the average, between 10%-25% of heating and cooling costs flies through the usual replacement windows. Installing storm windows is a good option for energy efficiency. They may not look fanciful like replacement windows, but it is usually better to feel good than look good. Storm windows are energy saving home improvements you need to make before this winter.
9. REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS
Running the fans counterclockwise makes it cooler during summer months. Reverse them to run clockwise during winter and they will circulate warm air back into the room.
10. GET AN ENERGY AUDIT
Energy auditors and raters use specialized tools and skills to evaluate your home and recommend the most cost-effective measures to improve its comfort and efficiency, as well as the best sequence for doing them. An energy audit would make professional recommendations on home energy efficiency available to you.