Like it or not, winter is coming. And when it gets here your home will be the only thing between you and the next big polar vortex. So, to keep your upcoming winter bills under control, consider the following 10 easy strategies to keep you and your family cozy and festive for less.
Eliminate Drafts and Evaluate your Insulation
Window and doors naturally sag over time, and this can lead to gaps and air leaks. Caulking and adding fresh weather stripping to eliminate any and all airflow can save a tremendous amount of energy, keeping out both the cold and humidity.
Using your hand to feel for air movement is an easy way to check for leaks, and homeowners can do much of this work by themselves. Or contact Amber Valley Construction for expert Grand Rapids Michigan handyman and home contractor services, including roof, structural, siding, and insulation repair.
Cover Your Windows
Window glass leaks heat, so during the night or when you aren’t home cover your windows closely with lined curtains to help with insulation. You can also expose windows on the south-facing side of your home during sunny days to let the warmth in.
Lower Your Hot Water Heater
The Department of Energy advises homeowners to turn down water heater temperatures to 120 degrees F during fall and winter months to conserve energy.
Limit Exhaust fan Use
Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are extremely useful at clearing out moisture, smoke, and steam. But they force a great deal of warm air out from your home and should be used sparingly during cold conditions.
Light up with LEDs this Christmas
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) use 75% to 80% less energy than older-style bulbs, and you can get them in a wide range of colors and light temperatures. Use them in your Christmas decorations and you may notice a big change in your energy bill.
Close off the Chimney
When you aren’t using your fireplace be sure to close the fireplace dampener, otherwise your warm air will run straight up and out of your home. You can plug and seal the chimney flue if you never use the fireplace at all.
Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
In the winter overhead fans should rotate clockwise to help draw cool air up toward the ceiling, displacing warm air back down to the floor. This will make occupants feel warmer, the same way normal rotation makes you feel cooler in the summer without actually generating any cooler air.
Be Smart About Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats should be set to a comfortable temperature when you’re around, and then automatically drop the temperature 5-10 degrees when you’re out or sleeping at night. According to the Department of Energy, this simple, set-and-forget step can save you 10% or more on heating bills over the course of the season.
Give your Heating System a Checkup
Make sure you are replacing your home’s air filter every 90 days and have your system professionally serviced each year to make sure it’s running normally and efficiency. The cost of malfunctions or poor performance can easily outstrip the cost of a simple, scheduled service appointment.
Dress for the Season
Who doesn’t love a good flannel shirt! Warm clothes and a few extra blankets on the bed make it easy to keep your home a few degrees cooler, which can make a huge difference in terms of energy use over the course of a winter season.
A home in poor repair won’t be able to keep you and your family comfortable—and your heating bills will show it. For high quality insulation, roofing, or siding repair in Grand Rapids Michigan, contact Amber Valley Construction today!