The cold is coming, and in some places it is already here. If you haven’t done so yet, take advantage of some simple tune-ups you can make around the house to dramatically lower your heating bill.
The laws of thermodynamics can be expensive. When the big winter weather arrives, the heat can leach from your home through a variety of obvious and unexpected ways, resulting in high heating bills. Wouldn’t you rather put that money into holiday shopping or upgrades for your house?
The most obvious culprits are in plain sight: Doors and windows. The weatherstripping around doors shouldn’t admit any light, and when it comes to windows, you’ll want to look for holes in the caulking. You could even upgrade your windows to double-pane, or go with storm windows to improve insulation. But the less obvious and less dramatic options are available to you, too. Here are 5 tips you may not have thought of when it comes to heating leaks and your overall energy spend:
- Cover up your water heater. For $20 – $40 you can secure a water heater blanket at most hardware stores. This will help keep your water heater insulated, which in turn means the water heater will use less energy to keep you in those warm showers. You might even consider dropping your water heater temperature from 140F/60C down to a safe but reasonable 120F/49C.
- Swap out rugs and drapes. In the warmer months, you may enjoy sheer window coverings or go with bare floors, but in the winter laying in heavy drapes and thicker rugs will help trap heat. (Plus, it makes a room feel all the more cozy when it’s cold outside!)
- Shutter your fireplace when it’s not in use. Is cold air whistling down your chimney? Does your flue close completely? Unless your fireplace is in constant use, remembering to seal it up when you’re not burning wood is a good place to save. Just remember to open the flue before you use it, or else you’ll end up with a smokey hazard!
- Swap out your furnace filters. The harder you make your furnace work to exchange air, the more you’ll pay for it. Stay on top of filter changes in the winter. The money you spend on filters will lower your bill and help save on your furnace’s wear and tear.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. From your basic clock-based models to your fancy smart thermostats like Nest, programmable thermostats will help you turn down the heat when you’re not home and when you’re sleeping. A modest expense will pay for itself many times over as the winters add up.
Stay warm on the cheap this year! If you find yourself looking for a more energy efficient home, I’m also here to help. Feel free to contact me, your trusted local real estate professional, by phone at (905)940-3599 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org today.