With the cold weather not only coming but already on top of us I thought I would share some tips on winterizing your home and even saving some money on heating costs this winter!
1. Change Your Furnace Filters: Yes it's easy to forget, but it's important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Here's a worry saving tip: mark a monthly check on your calender.
2. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse: Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling fans come with a handy reverse switch. Counterclockwise rotation produces a cooling breeze whereas switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Warm air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space, cutting your heating costs by as much as 10%!
3. Winterize your A/C and Water Lines: Simply drainany hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make sure you don't have excess water pooled in equipment. If your water has a shut off valve, go ahead and turn that off. Similarly, make sure any hoses are drained and stowed away neatly. Turn off exterior water spigots. And don't forget to remove any window A/C units and store them so you don't invite cold drafts all winter.
4. Turn Down Your Water Heater: Many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees F by the installer, most households don't need that much and end up paying for it. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees F would reduce your heating costs by as much as 6-10%!
5. Give Your Heating System A Tune-Up: Like your vehichle, your heating system needs periodic tune-ups to keep running as efficiently as possible. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
6. Mind Your Thermostat: It's easy to forget to turn down the heat when you leave your home, but doing so is one of the surest ways to save money. Most households shell out 50-70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling, so why pay for what no one is using? Make it easier on yourself with a programmable thermostat. They are widely available for as little as $50 and the average family can save up to $180 with one.
7. Put Up Some Plastic: For just a few dollars you can pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware store. If done properly it looks almost invisible. If not done properly...well, just do it right the first time.
8. Boost Your Homes Insulation: A well insulated home is one of the best ways to save energy and money. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
9. Put On A Sweater: We all heard it when we were younger; one of our parents saying "If you're cold then go get on a warmer sweater!" Turns out they were right...