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9 Ways to Winterize and Improve Energy Efficiency

Posted by Kya Thompson on January 17, 2018
woman fixing thermostat
Winterization is the process of preparing for winter. When it comes to your home, winterizing is especially important to mitigate the adverse effects winter can have on your place of residence and the costs associated with those effects. If you’re like many Americans, you were probably unimpressed with your electricity bill over the holidays. With sunset coming as early as 4 p.m., gatherings of friends and family, and the general decrease in temperature, you might have noticed a spike in your utility bills, most notably, your heating costs. Following the tips below may help to reduce your heating costs and improve energy efficiency:

Insulate 

There are several ways you can prevent heat loss;
  • Caulking – Small cracks can cause big drafts that make you want to turn up the heat. It’s important to caulk inside and outside of your home to make sure those drafty areas are sealed.
  • Weather-stripping – For larger gaps and holes, such as doorways, you’ll want to apply weather stripping to keep warm air in and cold air out.
  • Window Film – Film is another cheap and easy solution for window drafts, it can also reduce condensation and prevent frost buildup. Applying a film is crucial in homes with older single pane windows.
  • Pipes – A burst pipe can be a very expensive thing to fix. To prevent your pipes from freezing and possibly cracking or bursting, use a film or foam to protect them. The pipes that are the most susceptible to the cold are those on or near the exterior like those in your garage.

Open and Close the Drapes

When the sun is out, you’ll want to keep curtains open to allow sunlight to warm your home. Once the sun has set, think of your drapes as window blankets that provide another layer of protection against the cold air.

Increase the Humidity

The drier it is in your home, the colder it will be. Using a humidifier will warm up your home since moisture in the air retains heat. Your body will let you know if it’s too dry in your home if you find yourself feeling itchy or your skin is cracking despite moisturizing.

Get an HVAC Inspection

Getting a professional to inspect your HVAC system annually can improve the performance of one of the more complicated systems in your home. Not only will regular inspections improve energy efficiency, but it also prolongs the life of your HVAC system and keeps your home safe.

Change the Furnace Filter

If you keep turning up the heat but don’t feel like its getting any warmer, it might be time to change your filter. Changing a dirty air filter improves air flow, which will help warm air travel throughout your home. A clean filter also prevents your HVAC system from being overworked and using more energy to function.

Bundle Up

Last but not least; you should be wearing layers in the winter. Put on a sweater and curl up with a blanket if need be to keep the temperature on the thermostat 70°F or below. Unexpected expenses like a sky-high heating bill or emergencies like a broken furnace can leave you scrambling for cash or requiring a loan to help pay for them. Investing a little time and money in winterizing now can save you from significant costs in the future.
Posted in: Financial Tips

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