Fall is here and winter is well on the way. Much of the northern part of the country is stocking up on firewood and getting ready to settle in for the duration.
While many of us not face a harsh winter this year, it is definitely a change that you need to be ready for.
Below are just a few small tips from our friends at remodelitohio.com that can help you save big bucks this winter:
Remodel-It! offers homeowners energy efficient products and has compiled a few tips to maximize your energy savings in your home, which is good for the environment, your quality of life, and your wallet. Best of all – it’s a few easy changes!
1. Insulation is Key
Everyone knows heat rises, so you can practically see those $$$ signs escaping through your roof in the cold weather. Insulation in your attic can save you up to 20% off your heating bill. That is on average a whopping $180 a year in hot air… Insulating your hot water tank and exposed hot water pipes can also contribute to a nice savings. Plus turning your water heat down to 120’ instead of the normal 140’ that installers set it to, can save on heating cost as water heating accounts for between 14%-25% of your total energy consumed. Certain insulation qualifies for tax credit too.
2. Go energy efficient
Use energy efficient lights in your house and during the holidays only use LED lights – they not only save energy, but are also a much lower risk of fire. When you replace your old appliances – opt for Energy Star appliances (note, different Energy Star appliances have different energy savings). Owning all Energy Star appliances can save you up to 30% off your energy bill too. Make sure it has the Energy Star logo on it though.
3. Put a ‘lock down’ on the breeze
Owning energy efficient doors and windows can save a lot too. Older windows/doors might have air leaks, either from their age or the fact that they were not installed right. Newer double pane windows have argon gas inside them that also increases the barrier between your cozy home and the outside elements. Replacing all your old doors and windows can save you up to 10% – 40% off your heating bill depending upon your specific scenario. If you’re unable to replace a door you could always use a long doorstop as a temporary quick fix or install door weather-stripping to help with the breeze under the door. Caulk can help with other leaks associated with windows and doors. Remember to file your tax credit form on qualifying energy saving window purchases for your home until Dec 31st, 2013. It has to be installed before Dec 31st 2013, though. So there has never been a better time to get window replacements. Plus you can save even more on www.remodelitohio.com with their buy 2 get 1 free offer.
4. Fanning backwards
It is said that most ceiling fans have a mechanism that you can use to change the airflow, so instead of cooling the air, it actually heats up the house by fanning up towards the warm air and forcing it back down. So you can save some $$$ on your heating by this very simple change
5. Myth or fact about leaving heat on all day
It has long been believed that leaving your heat on all day and all night saves energy as it takes a lot more energy to heat up a cold house than just maintaining a certain temperature. This is only half true – to be more energy efficient, you should turn the heat down, not off, while you’re either asleep or not home and turn it back up once you get home from work. Also try to rather wear a sweater inside with the heat turned as low as possible, while still comfortable. A programmable thermostat can make this change very easy to achieve and help save up to 10% off your heating bill. Right now, you can get a Nest programmable thermostat free with qualifying purchases at www.remodelitohio.com – that is a $250 value, free.
6. Use natural elements
In the morning, before you leave for work, open up those curtains to let the sunlight bring in some natural and free heat. But remember to close them as soon as you get back as curtains (especially the energy saving ones) creates an extra barrier, keeping the cold night air out and your natural heat in.
7. Service Heating system
Call a service professional to service your heating system to ensure it’s running optimally. The last thing you need is your heating system using much more energy than needed or even overheating or breaking down in the dead of winter. If needed you could replace your old heating system with an energy saving one, then you might qualify for tax credit, but only until Dec 31st, 2013.
Replace your furnace filter once a month or as often as needed
If you have a wood- and Pellet-Burning heating system you should clean the flue vent regularly and also the inside of the appliance with a wire brush to ensure efficient heating in your home.
These are just a few changes that will save you a ton of money in the long run, and you will also be doing your part for the environment.
Do you have any other tips that you’d like to share?
Here are Winter Survival Tips we’ve put together just for you!