Surefire Home Energy Savers
Depending on your home’s size and energy efficiency, your utility bills can cost you considerably, especially during the heating season. These tips are surefire home energy savers that will help you trim your monthly heating costs.
- Identify the air leaks in your home. Inspect window frames and exterior doors, and seal the drafts with caulk and weatherstripping, both of which you can find at home-improvement stores. Plug the gaps in exterior walls where wires, plumbing and cable enter. A trip to the basement and attic may reveal breaches, as well. If you find gaps around the chimney or furnace flue, seal them with fireproof material or metal flashing, as needed.
- The Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 16 inches of insulation in your attic. If your insulation is insufficient, add more, using fiberglass batts or loose fill. If you prefer spray-in foam insulation, you will need the help of a qualified contractor.
- Install reversible ceiling fans in the rooms you use frequently. Heat rises, and when you run the fans in a clockwise direction during the winter, the warm air will be pulled down along the walls and into the space that you and your family members are occupying. Remember to turn them off when you’re not in any of the rooms.
- Take advantage of the sun during the winter to passively heat your home. Keep your curtains open when the sun is out, especially if you have south-facing windows, and close the curtains at night to keep in the warmth. If you don’t have thermal or Energy Star windows, use storm windows or clear plastic window kits to slow drafts and thermal loss.
- Check the filter in your furnace once a month, and change it as soon as it looks dirty. Dust and dirt on a filter drive up your heating costs and increase wear and tear on your equipment.
- Have your HVAC equipment serviced annually to keep it in top running condition.