10 Ways to Save Money and Stay Warm All Winter
Are you looking for ways to winterize your home to maximize energy efficiency and to help save money on your heating costs? Do you get the chills every time you look at your utility bill? The good news is that you can change this feeling by taking these steps to help make you and your home comfortable throughout the cold winter months.
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Get your home an energy audit
- Seal cracks
- Protect windows
- Insulate different areas
- Replace furnace filter
- Clean vents
- Seal fridge door
- Install or leverage ceiling fan
- Schedule a tune-up or replace your furnace
1. Install a programmable thermostat
This will allow you to preset the temperatures in your home for different times of the day. Regulating the heat in your home based on time of day could help save money on your utility bills by lowering your furnace’s energy usage when you’re away from home.
Also, try to set the temperature a degree or two cooler when you are home and instead put on a comfy pair of socks and sweater – this can help keep you warmer and conserve energy.
2. Get a professional to conduct a home energy audit
When was the last time your home had an energy audit done? This process can help identify areas where heat is escaping as well as where cold air is getting in or energy is unnecessarily being consumed – which will ultimately help keep you warm and save money!
Some municipalities may offer subsidies or rebates on energy conservation home improvements. Visit your municipality or utility website for more information on financial incentives or programs related to energy efficiency.
3. Seal cracks in your home
Take a tour around your home and check to see if there are any gaps on windows, doors and walls. Cracks will allow drafts in or cause heat to escape, so it’s important to seal them with the appropriate caulking. You can carefully hold up a candle or lighter next to the crack or gap and look for a flicker in the flame.
You may also want to have your ductwork inspected to ensure it is properly sealed.
4. Protect your windows
Double-glazed energy efficient windows provide superior heat retention but can be an expensive upgrade. If window upgrades are not in the budget, consider other options that can help keep the cold air out, such as installing extra thick drapes or curtains. There are also options available from your local hardware store such as installing a clear plastic film across the inside of your windows during winter.
5. Insulate different areas of your home
By ensuring you have sufficient insulation in your attic space and in the exterior walls of your home you’ll help prevent heat loss and help keep your home feeling warmer.
6. Change your furnace filter
Cleaning or replacing furnace filters more frequently during heating season can help to keep airflow moving more efficiently. Dirty filters restrict airflow and in turn may increase energy use of your furnace. This small measure can help your furnace last longer and run more efficiently, and may also keep dust at bay in the house. Consider setting a monthly reminder on your calendar to check / change your furnace filter.
7. Clean your vents
When cleaning your house, give your vents some TLC. Ensure the vents for your furnace, stove and dryer are clean and free of dust and debris. This can help them function more effectively and efficiently. Also, make sure that air vents are not blocked by furniture, curtains or other obstacles.
8. Make sure your fridge door is sealed
A poorly sealed refrigerator door can affect your kitchen temperature and may increase your energy costs. The fridge must work harder to keep its contents cool and your furnace may have to work harder to keep the home warm.
You can test the seal on your fridge door: place a piece of paper between the door and body of the fridge and close the door. If you’re able to pull the paper out easily – you should look into resealing your fridge door.
9. Install or leverage your ceiling fan
Ceiling fans can not only be used in the warm summer months but you can also leverage them in the winter as they can help evenly circulate heat in your home. This can be done by reversing your fan’s direction by spinning it counterclockwise. This will push warm air down helping it to recirculate, allowing you to stay more comfortable.
10. Schedule a tune-up or replace your furnace
When was the last time you had a furnace tune-up? It’s important to give your furnace some TLC on an annual basis. This can help it to run smoothly and efficiently. If your furnace is 10-15 years old (or older), you should consider replacing your furnace with a high-efficiency unit, which can help save you money on your heating bill. Check for the ENERGY STAR® logo to also qualify for government rebates and incentives.