Southern Colorado, are you looking to save money? Of course, we all are in this tight economy. We all know our homes are one of our biggest expenses each month, so that’s why we’re here to help.
Winter is Coming
Once fall is over, we all know what comes next. The cold weather of winter! We all have to prepare our homes for colder temperatures because heating can quickly eat into that holiday budget. Since we’d all prefer to spend our hard-earned money on presents and experiences, rather than hot air that goes right out the window!
The good news is many of the essential maintenance steps in your home can help save you money without costing you big. A small investment and a little bit of time will protect your home’s systems and structure all year round. This will make sure you and your family are comfortable no matter what the winter weather brings.
Here are six easy steps you can take to winterize your home to help save you money and ensure it’s running at maximum energy efficiency.
1. Stop the Drafts in Your House
Windows and doors are the obvious sources of drafts in your home. But there may be some other spots that are letting the cold in that you haven’t thought about. These can be costing you money and you may not even know it. Look around your home to see where warm air could be leaking out or letting the chilly air in. If you have a fireplace, close the flue when you’re not using it. In rooms you’re not using or rarely go into, close the heating and cooling vents in those areas.
2. Check for Leaks Around Doors and Windows
Leaky windows and doors can not only make your home less comfortable for your family, but they could also be costing you more money. Sealing up any leaks will help you use less energy to heat your home. To perform this task all you need is about an hour of your time and some good caulk from your local hardware store. You’ll end up using 5 to 10 percent less energy in your home if you do this. Replace old, worn, or dried out caulk around doors and windows. If you’d like a little bit more protection you can use weather sealant tape and large cell bubble wrap on the inside of your windows. The cells in the wrap will serve as extra insulation and help keep the heat inside.
3. Turn Your Ceiling Fans When You Turn Your Clocks
Get up on a ladder and throw the switch on your ceiling fans to reverse the direction of the blades. The rule here is, in the summertime you want your fan spinning counter-clockwise. This helps cool the room. But in the winter, you want to reverse the rotation to clockwise. This will make the blades cause the warm air that has naturally risen to your ceiling, to be pushed downward, helping to keep your rooms warmer.
4. Consider a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to lower the temperature in your home when no one is present. You also may want to program it to lower the temperature during the night when everyone in your house is tucked under blankets in their beds. There are free calculators online to help you figure out the best way to program your thermostat to help you keep your energy bills low.
5. Take Good Care of Your Furnace
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, around 41 percent of your home’s total energy usage goes to heating your house. If the filters in your furnace are dirty or clogged, it forces your furnace to have to work harder and burn more energy to keep your home warm.
The best thing you can do to combat this problem is to change your filters regularly. Some filters are inexpensive and are good for around 30 days. There are also long-lasting filters which can last for the full season. By changing your filters on a regular schedule you’ll stop the dust and dirt from building up and stressing your heating and cooling system. This will save the HVAC from working too hard and possibly burning out and also save you considerable money in the long run.
6. Don’t Forget Your Water Heater
By flushing out the water in your heater it will remove any sediment that’s gathered in the bottom of the tank. This will improve its efficiency and save you money on your energy bills. While you’re at it you may want to look into wrapping your water heater in a blanket to insulate it. By wrapping the heater in an insulating blanket it should help it retain more heat. This will cut your water heating bills down significantly! There are pre-cut blankets manufactured for this practice. They’re normally available at your local hardware store or home improvement center and cost less than $50.
Let Our Energy Efficiency Pros Make Your Home A Money-Saver
If you’d like to turn your home into an energy-saving powerhouse, let our energy efficiency pros help! In partnership with San Isabel Electric’s Empower Program, we can come to your home and provide a FREE energy assessment. Beyond the DIY tips above, we can give you recommendations for further ways to save. It’s an exciting program we’re grateful to be a part of to help homeowners in Southern Colorado save.
Our professionals will be happy to answer all of your energy questions and can even help you with home insulation to further keep out those winter winds. Give us a call today at 719-569-5166 or visit our website for a free assessment!