Winterize Your Home: 10 Tips

1. A smart thermostat is worth the money!

Winters can be brutal in the U.S. Last year my husband and I began thinking in earnest about having a smart thermostat installed in our home. We have had our new smart thermostat for three months and we are seeing a sharp decrease in our energy bills.

2. Eliminate drafty areas

The U.S. Department of Energy states that almost 30 percent of energy consumption in homes is due to drafty doors.

Several years ago we took care of our drafty doors by placing draft excluders on the bottom of our inside doors. Draft excluders can be premade or you can make one by taking old towels, rolling them up and placing them against the bottoms of the doors. What a difference they have made!

3. Don’t forget to install storm doors and windows

Living in the northeastern part of the U.S. we get some brutal winters. Several months ago, we had to install a storm door and windows. We couldn’t do the job ourselves, so we hired professionals to do the job. My husband and I are happy that we took this action because it has considerably improved the energy efficiency in our home.

4. Be on the look-out for gaps

I didn’t realize it until my husband mentioned it; but we were losing a lot of heat from the gaps around our door frames and windows. As we checked out the windows and doors, I was amazed at the cold air coming in. Our rooms are much warmer now and our heating bills are less costly.

We have also checked other areas in our home where cold air was coming in. We now follow a rule that many have done for years. We light an incense stick and move it around the wall and windows; areas where there are tiny gaps. If the smoke begins to waver, we find a leak and then seal it up.

5. Insulating is the way to go!

For a home to be comfortable and warm during the winter, it must be properly insulated. We live in a home that is well-insulated but if your home is not properly insulated, place quality insulation between walls and where there are large gaps around the window frames.

6. Don’t forget the pipes

As you winterize your home, keep in mind the pipes. Most importantly, a lot of energy can be wasted with hot water pipes.

You see, if pipes are not insulated, heat will escape. Our water heater is in a location where insulation is not necessary; however, if your water heater is in the basement where it is cold, purchase some pipe foam and install it over your pipes.

7. Cleaning is necessary for optimal performance.

Cleaning is necessary for almost everything in your home, especially your furnace filter. It is important to change your furnace filter often, every three months. My husband checks our filter every two months and we also have a HVAC company that checks our new furnace twice a year. Dirty filters can clog up your heater and make it work harder than it should.

8. Energy use needs to be monitored

You can tell how much energy your home uses with an energy monitor, smart meter or smart plugs. In addition, you can also see how much energy your homes uses with weekly and monthly reports. When our new furnace was installed last September we were given statistics on how much more effective it would be and we see the difference in our monthly bills.

9. Dress for the Season

Many like to wear summer attire during the winter; however, when you do this your thermostat has to be raised in order to feel comfortable and warm. Instead of wearing summer clothes, pull out your sweaters, pull on some thick socks and enjoy the season.

10. A Chimney Balloon is energy saving

Currently, my husband and I don’t have a chimney but when we did and didn’t use it, our home was cold because the chimney pulled heat right out of our home. What we should have done was install a chimney balloon. It could have saved money on heating bills and prevented heat from escaping our room.

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