Although it’s been a pretty warm fall in southeastern Pennsylvania, the cool nights are a reminder that cold weather is not too far off. Maybe you’ve already started thinking about this and prepping your home for winter. Or maybe you’ve been enjoying the warm weather, deliberately ignoring the coming cool weather.
For maximum benefits, you could replace your windows with more energy-efficient ones to eliminate leaks, and install solar panels on your roof to offset high heating costs. However, if you are looking for some easier ways to save a little money on heating costs this winter, we’ve got some ideas for you.
- Purchase some caulk and expanding foam and seal cracks and air leaks around windows, doors, in your attic, basement and more. Maybe just one or two leaks aren’t so bad, but add up all the leaks in your home and it can equal some major inefficiency.
- Turn on your furnace now and make sure it’s working properly. The last thing you want is your furnace to break in the middle of frigid January weather. Just doing a basic audit is an extra cost, but it’s worth having a professional ensure that it’s working at maximum potential.
- Figure out what rooms get little traffic or use in your home and simply shut the vents and doors. Containing the heat in the parts of your home that you actually use will save your costs.
- Swap your thermostat for a programmable one – but don’t forget to program it! Studies have shown that programmable thermostats don’t typically save you money…but that’s because humans forget to program them. Set it to lower (or higher in the summer) temperatures during the night or if no one is home during the day. Restrict the higher temperatures for when you’re actually home.
- Do you have a fireplace? Use it for family nights and keep the thermostat a little cooler than normal for the rest of the home. Make sure that you are keeping the vents closed when not in use to avoid letting cool air in that way.
- Can’t afford to replace all of your windows right now? That’s ok. You can replace a few at a time, or save up for it and cover them with plastic in the meantime. It’s not pretty, but it does a great job insulating them. While you’re at it, make sure you are changing your screens to storm windows to save even more.
- Run your ceiling fans in reverse. Not many people realize this is even possible, but it helps push the warm air back down to circulate the room again.
- Turn down your water heater. Most are set to a high 140 degrees, but few people need water that hot. Moving it down to 120 degrees can save a bit of cash in heating costs.
Hopefully these tips will help you as you prep your home for the cold winter months. Start now to make sure you have your heating bill under control so you can save that extra cash for the upcoming Holidays.