Cold wind, low temperatures and shorter days: it’s official – winter is coming. And with winter also come the scary-looking heating bills. But don’t worry – here are some energy-saving strategies, which will keep your home warm and cozy, without involving a lot of additional cost.
Applying window film
Well, this initial investment will actually cost you some money, but it’ll definitely be worth it. You can purchase the film from any home improvement store and have it installed over your windows. The mechanism is simple: the film reflects the heat coming from the sun in the summer, keeping your home cool. During the winter, it will reduce the heat loss by up to 40% and, subsequently, will cut your heating bills during the cold season.
You can even spare some additional money if you decide to apply it yourself. Professional service usually costs around $60-$90 per window. The material itself isn’t cheap, as well, but it’s a long-term investment that will prove incredibly useful during the whole year.
Take out the winter clothing
You’d think that’s an obvious one, but actually many people prefer turning the heat up instead of putting several layers of clothing. Invest in a nice pair of socks and a cozy winter sweater. You can also throw a blanket over your couch or cover the floor with a thick rug to insulate it.
Adjust the door thresholds
Check if there is a little space under your front door. If you can see the light coming from under it, then you’re definitely losing part of the heat you’re paying for. Experts advise on adjusting the door so it will be in contact with the threshold – this can significantly reduce your heating bills!
Keep the warm air from escaping through the chimney
Chimneys are a great way to create a cozy atmosphere in your home. However, one of the downsides of owning a chimney is that the warm air can actually escape through it, when the chimney is not in use. The best solution is to simply block the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon – you can get one from amazon for around $50. A chimney balloon can save you up to $100 per year.
Insulate the attic door
Even if your attic is properly insulated, the door, leading to it, might not be. Warm air can, therefore, easily escape through it. To ensure the proper insulation of your attic door, you can use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door.
Use a programmable thermostat
The perk of having a thermostat is that you can program the temperature during certain times of the day. For example, you can program it to keep a low temperature during the day, when there’s nobody home or at night, when everyone’s asleep. It’s a good idea to program the temperature to go up in the morning, when you’re preparing for work or taking a shower, and again in the evening, when you’re coming home from work. You can do that with a traditional thermostat, but the chances are you’re going to forget to do it every single day. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t need to think about it – the appliance will do it for you!
Seal air leaks in the heating ducts
The heating ducts are part of any forced-air heating and cooling system. They’re responsible for distributing the conditioned air throughout the house. However, a significant percent of the heat (around 20-30%) is actually lost, due to air leaks, holes or poorly connected ducts. This means that the temperature will stay constantly low, regardless of how much you turn the thermostat up.
You can deal with that problem by sealing the air leaks or the holes in your heating ducts. You can do it by yourself or you can have a professional seal it for you. You can use mastic sealant or metal tape to insulate the air leaks – just don’t use duct tape, because it’s not very long-lasting. You also need to make sure that the connections at vents are properly sealed. This would save you money and will make your home warmer and cozier without costing you a fortune!
Image by brian.ch