As the temperatures lower, many homeowners resign themselves to the fact that their energy bills are going to escalate. While this may be true, there are many actions homeowners can take to keep costs at a reasonable level.
Pay Attention to Windows and Doors: The lower the temperature becomes; the more noticeable drafty windows and doors can become. Common culprits include window seal failure, shoddy installation, improper caulking, and outdated windows. A temporary fix can be adding caulking or weather-stripping, but it’s wise to render the services of a reputable professional that can discuss full frame window replacement. Even if your windows and doors are in good shape, you can lower energy costs by opening curtains and shades on south-facing windows on sunny days to introduce more natural light and warmth to your home. Closing curtains and shades at night can act as an additional insulator.
Here’s Why Builder Grade Windows Are a Poor Investment:
Invest in a Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats can be programmed so that temperatures are turned down when a home is unoccupied. Some models are so intuitive that they can sense movement and understand when you’re away from home so that temperatures are adjusted accordingly. Many times, local municipalities reward homeowners for installing smart thermostats by providing attractive rebates.
Change Your Air Filters: Furnace filters rarely have a lifespan of more than three months. Failure to regularly change filters not only compromises your home’s air quality, but also forces your furnace to work harder than it should. When this happens, energy efficiency is also compromised.
Upgrade Your Home’s Insulation: Homes that lack adequate insulation allow the heated air you paid for to escape outdoors. Signs you need more insulation in your home include ice dams, attic rodent infestation, extreme temperature fluctuations within your home, and finding water in your attic.
Consider Attic Air Sealing: This process involves pinpointing and addressing areas of the attic that are permitting exterior air to filter in. Vulnerable spots include those surrounding false soffits, bath fan penetrations, and can lights. Weather-stripping, spray foam, and patches can be utilized to fill in gaps, creating a more energy efficient space.
Keep Your Chimney Flue Closed: Allowing your chimney flue to remain open when not in use is the equivalent of leaving a window open several inches. The result is permitting a sizable amount of warm air to escape your home.