Winter brings snow and holidays, but it also brings increased heating bills. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re anticipating winter utility bills just as much as summer cooling costs, especially if you live in colder climates or in an older, less energy efficient home.
While we can’t do anything to stop the cold, we can take steps to make our homes cozy for less this winter. Here are a few tips to help you cut those bills without giving up your comfort!
Consider a programmable thermostat
These devices can help you save money in the summer and winter by allowing you to use your resources more wisely. When you’re home you can set the temperature warmer, reducing it while you’re gone during the day or even at night if you prefer a cooler temperature to sleep. Most units allow you to create various presets so you can have weekend and weekday settings to match how you use your home. This is a great way to reduce your energy use while keeping your home comfortable.
Install door sweeps
If your home is like most others, you can usually feel cold air sneaking under your externally facing doors. Fortunately, there is an easy fix – door sweeps. Door sweeps attach to the bottom edge of the door and help to reduce the amount of air that gets in when your door is closed. Most home improvement stores have inexpensive door sweep kits that are simple to install.
Close off unused rooms
If your home has rooms that aren’t used often, like guest rooms, close off your heater vents in the area. This can improve warm air flow in living spaces while reducing your utility bills in the process. Remember to keep the doors and curtains closed in these areas as well.
Use draft stoppers
Rolled towels or door snakes are forms of draft stoppers that you can add to your home’s winter defenses. These are simple buffers that help provide an extra layer of protection for your externally facing doors. Since these are inexpensive and effective, you may want to use them for doors leading to the garage and any unheated interior spaces as well.
Use heavy curtains
Heavy curtains can help prevent heat loss and cold infiltration through your windows. If you have older, less energy efficient windows, this can be especially helpful. You can even look for thermal insulation, or “cold weather” curtains which are designed to provide even more protection.
Use area rugs strategically
If your home has a lot of tile or wood, it is probably especially cold in the winter. You can make your home feel more cozy by simply using area rugs to cover cold tile and wood. Some areas you may want to use area rugs are in hallways, living spaces, near countertops in your kitchen and in your dining area. You may want to switch out bathroom rugs for thicker versions during the cold months.
Don’t forget, an inefficient or poorly maintained furnace may keep you warm, but it will take a bite out of your wallet. You may want to consider having your heating system checked professionally so that it works more efficiently all winter. And of course, if you find yourself in a heating emergency, give us a call at (800) 662-4318 and we’ll get you back up and warm in no time!