The winter months are on their way, and with the current climate changes taking place around the world, it seems more areas are susceptible to extreme winter weather. Heating one’s home makes up a large percentage of the average family’s utility bills, with gas prices skyrocketing through the roof. The good news is there are ways to stay warm while conserving energy, while saving money in the process.
Draft-Proof Your Home
The first and foremost way to keep the warm air inside and the cold air out this winter is by draft-proofing your home. This means sealing up any leaks you may have in your home. Properly insulating your windows, doors, plumbing and wiring holes and fireplace dampers is simple and doesn’t take much time at all. All you need is a tube of exterior silicone caulk or some insulation strips. For the space between your doors and the floor, an inexpensive door sweep on the bottom of the door should be sufficient.
One major problem area in almost every home is the garage – it’s virtually impossible to keep it warm. Don’t let that deter you from insulating the windows and garage doors, especially if your garage is someplace subjected to people going in and out of often. The number one way to keep cold air out of the garage – and your house – is by keeping your garage door shut. Remember, the point of having a heater is to warm the inside of your house up- so quit letting all the warm air out!
Install Storm Windows
Storm windows can cut the heat loss in your home by 25% to 50%. Installing storm windows (or clear plastic barriers) on your windows creates dead-air space inside the window, providing great insulation for your home. Installing storm windows on the outside can increase the inside temperature by 30 degrees during the winter, which is definitely a great way to keep the inside of your home more comfortable.
Use Your Fireplace Wisely
Although fireplaces seem like a natural way to heat up your home and hearth without using your heater, the truth is most people end up losing the majority of warm air – or 90% of the fire’s energy – through the open flue when using their fireplace. That’s a lot to loss! Fireplaces are practically useless as heating devices, but if you really want to use yours, turn your thermostat down first so your heating system won’t keep attempting to replace the warm air lost through the chimney. A roaring fire in the fireplace can keep you warm – if you’re huddled right in front of it. Unless you are planning a get-together around your fireplace, the best option is to just not use it too often.
There are many other ways to conserve energy and save on your utility bills this winter. If you do your research on tips for saving money and energy during the Winter months, you will do fine. Remember, the best way to keep yourself warm is to layer on the clothe – snuggle up under a blanket in your warmest sweater, and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa! Layering yourself with warm clothing and drinking hot beverages will keep you warm from the inside out.
[CC Image by kanelstrand via Flickr]