As you start digging winter coats and hats out of your basement in preparation for winter, you should also consider prepping your house for the seasonal changes to come.
While attempts to keep your house warm throughout the winter can be tough on your wallet, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Here are a few ways you can winterize your home and possibly save on energy bills.
1. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
There can be an unexpected benefit to reversing your ceiling fans from counterclockwise (in the summer) to clockwise (in the winter) to make your home more comfortable and save money on energy bills. The reasoning involves the way hot and cold air move.
During the summer, when your home is warm, a fan’s blades work to push air down onto people in a room, resulting in a direct cooling sensation. Pushing down cool air means that you help give your air conditioner — and its additions to your electric bill — a welcome break.
When the chill of winter creeps in, running a fan clockwise pulls warm air up, pushing it against the ceiling, down the walls and circulating it around the room. Instead of having a radiator or heating system’s warm air sit isolated in certain parts of the room, a fan, running clockwise, will circulate that air, keeping the room warmer and requiring less work from the heating system. Who would have guessed such a simple trick could be a great tactic for winterizing your home?
2. Block Drafts
Again, cold air could prove to be a major strain on your budget during the winter. Preventing it from getting into your house in the first place is an easy way to avoid possible associated heating costs.
One way to block cold air is to outfit each door with a draft blocker. Fairly simple — and inexpensive — draft blockers (also known as draft stoppers) add an additional barrier to cold air that’s trying to enter your home. Try to purchase one that offers equal blockage on both sides of the door for to potentially maximize your savings.
3. Tune up Your Heating System
When it’s running daily throughout the winter, your heating system could accumulate dirt and grime that can negatively affect performance efficiency — and more strain on your system could equal a higher heating bill. To make sure your heater is at its most efficient for the winter months, call your heating system’s manufacturer and ask for a maintenance visit. A quick tune-up could save you thousands of dollars in fuel, which is why it could be beneficial to add this to your yearly home winterizing checklist.
4. Install Double-Paned Windows
Most houses lose a fair amount of heat through their windows, so increasing your windows’ insulation potential could be an easy way to keep cold air out (and heat in) during the winter. Double-paned windows accomplish this by adding an internal air barrier between your home and the outside chill. Plus, they’ll have a similar effect during the summer, helping keep cool air from your air conditioner inside the home.
5. Utilize a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats make the most of your heating system by learning and automating your heating habits. Say you always turn your heat up in the morning, down in the afternoon and up again at night. A smart thermostat will recognize this trend and automatically adjust the heating system throughout the day.
Some smart thermostats even physically detect when you’re home, regulating heat accordingly. And, if you know you’re going to be away for a while, you can control heat from your phone, eliminating wasteful use of your heater. This is one way to winterize your home that can be convenient and money-saving.
A bit of preparation now can help your home — and its inhabitants — stay warm and cozy all winter long.
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