How to Winterize Your Home This Winter
Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home
Now is the time to ‘winterize’ your home. According to industry experts, you can save big bucks by paying attention to a few basic ‘winterizing’ tips. Below are eight ways to save:
Change the furnace filter. Easy to forget, this can be a significant cost saver. Of course, a dirty filter lets dust and dirt circulate throughout the home. For allergic folks, this can be a real quality of life issue. And, dirty filters limit airflow through and increase energy demand. A new filter will cost you less than $30.00.
Run fans in reverse. Many overhead fans can be set to run clockwise or counterclockwise. In the counter-clockwise mode, the fan will produce a cooling breeze, while setting for clockwise operation, the air will feel warmer.
Prepare the AC for winter. Drain water lines and spigots. If you have window air conditioners, remove and store them until spring to eliminate expensive drafts. If the old AC needs to be replaced, the government will reimburse you 10% on the cost of a new unit up to $500.
Turn down the thermostat. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you will save between one and three percent. Sounds small but when combined with other cost savers, you can lower energy cost by over 15%. To save more money, install a programmable thermostat at a cost of about $50. Once again, spending a few dollars now will pay off for years to come.
Minimize drafts. Drafty doors and windows are a major cost factor during Winter. Since it is estimated you’ll save five to 30% on energy costs by eliminating drafts, it will pay to use floor and window seal strips during the coldest months.
A heating unit tune-up makes sense. By simply keeping the furnace clean and running properly, you’ll save five percent on heating bills. In many cities, local utilities will provide free safety inspections, which will alert you to any needed repairs or maintenance.
Inspect and repair storm doors and windows. If your home does not have insulated, winter-proof windows, install removable storm windows and doors. While this is not necessarily inexpensive, over time, you will save real dollars.
Turn down the water heater. Most water heaters are installed at a default setting of 140 degrees; way too hot for normal use in bathrooms and showers. Lower the temperature to a more comfortable and sensible 120 degrees and save one to three percent more on heating costs.
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