Improving Your Home to Reduce Heating Costs this Winter
During the summer, you can open the windows or turn on the fans to save on cooling bills. When it comes to winter, the heater is often the only way to stay warm. However, this can cause your wallet to take a hit when you get your next energy bill. While keeping your thermostat lower can keep your bill a bit lower, there are improvements that you can make to your home to save even more.
Deal with the Drafts
Drafts around the door, the windows and elsewhere can lead to a loss of heated air. In most cases, the weatherstripping that prevents cold air from getting in needs to be replaced. You can find rolls of weatherstripping at your local hardware store that will work. Professionals recommend taking a piece of the old weatherstripping with you when you go so that you get the right replacement materials.
Replacing the weatherstripping is very easy. Doors and windows have small slots where the weatherstripping goes. The old weatherstripping should easily peel away from the door or window. The new weatherstripping can then be placed in the slot.
Check the Insulation
Ensuring that the attic is properly insulated is one of the best things you can do for your home when it comes to saving money on your energy bills. Insulation prevents cold air from getting into the attic and warm air from getting out. This can be extremely helpful if your duct work is in your attic. Having the right amount of insulation in the attic will also provide you with benefits all year round and even a longer lasting roof.
Air Seal the Attic
While you may not realize it, you’re likely trying to heat the attic when you turn your thermostat up. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 30 percent of the energy it takes to heat the home is lost due to leaks in the attic. This is because the attic is often not sealed; hot air can travel through cracks in the light fixtures, wiring holes or the duct chaseway. Although a professional is more likely to be able to find all of the leaks, you’ll see savings just by plugging the big holes.
There are several materials that can be used to air seal the attic. Smaller cracks and holes can be sealed using a high quality caulk. Aluminum-faced acrylic tape and other housewares tape can be used to seal around drywall and other hard products. Rigid foam panels can be used to seal the attic hatch and the soffits.
Seal Your Ducts
Sealing the duct work can result in some heating savings. When the ducts leak, it is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of heated air is lost. This often means that you’re spending money trying to heat the environment. By sealing the ducts, you can cut back on how often the heater is running.
Home Improvements can be Beneficial All Year Long
Although these home improvements do require a small investment, you’ll find that this is an investment worth making. Not only will you save on your heating bills this summer, you’ll find that these savings extend into the spring and summer.