If you live in a seasonal climate, you’ve certainly experienced it: as the weather gets colder, your home energy bill gets higher. It’s the inevitability that comes with staying comfortable all year long, and of course, the extra spend is well worth it.
However, it’s always a great feeling to get those monthly costs down – particularly without having to turn the thermostat down to super low levels. On top of this, getting your heating costs down each month means you’re saving energy while still staying comfortable, thereby decreasing your monthly environmental footprint. The less energy you use, the less gas or oil (non-renewable resources) you’re using up.
So how exactly can you use less energy to heat your home, all while saving money and the environment? There are a few things you can do to prep your house for winter that can help you seriously accomplish those goals.
It’s most important to block up all air leaks – small cracks in your home’s surface that allow heat to seep out, making your heating system work harder to keep the home at a consistent temperature. These leaks are most often found around window frames and doors, where the seal between the wall and the window/door may not be totally complete. Caulk door frames in preparation for winter and block the bottom of the door frame with a towel or long homemade beanbag. Seal windows tightly with plastic to keep warm air in and cold air out. You can also install storm windows, which offer a great return on your investment, or you can purchase thick winter curtains to insulate the home.
Due to the natural properties of heat, it will always flow wherever there is a difference in temperature. While this may be a fairly solid amount of work, insulating walls and ceilings within your home is a great way to decrease your heating costs in the long run.
Another pre-winter tip: clean your furnace. Your furnace is the heart of your heating system, and clearing it of residue prior to winter ensures that the contraption will be working with utmost efficiency once the colder months come around. Make sure to also get the furnace inspected every once in a while to ensure maximum value.
For a natural route, you can use “windbreaks,” like large trees and walls around your home, to block the wind and insulate your entire house from the rapid, cold gusts of winter. On top of this, utilize the sunlight to your advantage as the weather gets colder: keep curtains open the day to let in the light and the heat, then close them at night to keep out the dark, cold evening.
Follow these tips for an insulated, cozy home that offers low heating costs and a small environmental impact. At the end of the day, grab a couple blankets, hot cocoa, and some slippers – and enjoy the comfortable warmth of your home!