When cold weather approaches, use this checklist of simple ways to make your home more comfortable and keep those escalating energy bills at bay.
Check for Leaks
- Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Weather stripping and caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner’s heating dollars.
Check Your Insulation
- Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation.
As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and – since heat rises – especially ceilings. Considering insulating your attic. Insulating the attic of an older home is a cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs.
Check Your Heating System
- Replace your heater’s air filter as recommended by the manufacturer. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy, and last longer as a result. Also consider cleaning and removing dust from vents and/or along baseboard heaters.
- Consider using a set-back thermostat. A set-back thermostat allows you to automatically turn down the heat when you’re away at work or when you’re sleeping at night, and then boost the temperature to a comfortable level when you need it. It takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long. Properly using your set-back thermostat could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent.
- Reverse the switch on your ceiling fans to blow upward, toward the ceiling. Ceiling fans are a great idea in the summer, when air blowing downward can improve circulation and make a room feel four degrees cooler. A cooling draft is a poor idea when it’s cold, however. By reversing the fan’s direction, the blades move air upward in winter. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms, where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.
- Make sure all heating vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
Contact: Sherri Tapp, Utility Billing Manager, 767-0306