Winter is a bountiful time of year—with many parties, celebrations, laughter, and cheer. It can also be an expensive time when it comes to your utility bill. However, there’s no need to get into a panic. There are many excellent solutions to staying warm. Let No More Chores professional home cleaners share with you these energy-saving tips for your home!
Blackout Curtains or Blinds
Blackout curtains and blinds have a dual purpose when it comes to cutting costs. In the winter, blackout curtains and blinds help to keep out the cold and keep the warmth in, especially after dark and on overcast days. In the summer, blackout curtains and blinds repel thermal energy by 25% on your energy bill. Blackout curtains can be made or bought.
Secure the Insulation
Another way to make your home more energy-efficient in winter is to secure and/or install additional insulation. Depending on the age of your home, insulation can be pried loose by small animals or rodents over the years leaving you with a higher energy bill in time. As a maintenance precaution, make it part of your fall routine to check and repair any loose insulation.
Apply Weather Stripping
Weatherstripping is a sealer that can be placed along the rim of exterior doors and windows. It’s used to fill gaps that let in large amounts of air. There are a few different types depending on your needs. The easiest and cheapest weather stripping to use is foam stripping with tape. This is just a simple peel-and-stick type. The next step is the peel-and-stick V-shaped copper and bronze stripping. It works the same as the foam. The last type of weatherstripping is vinyl tubing which is soft and pliable enough to be manipulated into large or small cracks but needs to be held in place with nails. This is the most secure form of weather stripping.
Replace Furnace Filters
Each year your utility company reminds you to replace your filters in the fall in preparation for winter. This isn’t just a fire-safety precaution, but changing your furnace filter also helps to keep your energy bill down. Energy Star recommends the air filter be changed once a month during the winter because “a dirty filter slows air flow, making the system work harder, which wastes energy.”
Use a Draft Stopper
To control drafts throughout the house, use a draft stopper. This is two long tubes of fabric filled with various weighted materials, connected side-by-side, and slid under a door to block the flow of air. Draft stoppers can be bought or easily made with a simple DIY tutorial. Not only do these simple devices help with reducing your energy bill, but they also act as an excellent sound barrier—think nurseries.
Apply Film over Windows
Like blackout curtains and blinds, window films help to shield the home from the subzero temperatures and harsh winds that come with winter. There are many types of films depending on your needs and the time of the year. According to GoGreenSolar.com, window films “save 12-18% annually on energy bills, provides 98% UV protection, and blocks 48% thermal solar heat.”
Use Rugs on Hardwood Floors
Loss of heat in a home can come from many sources, with hardwood floors you can lose heat through the floorboards. This is why it is helpful to use rugs to retain the heat in your home so you can keep your thermostat down. Rugs also work great on all hard floor surfaces.
Try a Humidifier
Like sitting at the beach on a warm summer day, moist air is warmer and retains heat well in cold weather. Having a humidifier in your home will help to lower your energy costs as well as reduce static electricity, dry skin for humans and pets, and reduce the amount of fur found on clothes and furniture. As the seasons change and winter gets colder, you walk about your home checking here and there making sure your to-do list is done. No longer are you going to waste up to 30% on your energy bill. So, while the snow piles high and the guests come and go, you sit assured that your home is warm and welcoming this winter—without breaking the bank.