The weather is turning cooler and the nights are growing longer. How much you save on energy bills this winter will depend largely on what you do now. These steps will help make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient when cold weather arrives.
- Seal air leaks
Check for gaps or cracks around windows and exterior doors. Replaced older caulk around windows with new siliconized caulk. Seal gaps around doors with weather stripping and door sweeps.
Also check your attic and basement for leaks around light fixtures, plumbing and wiring access, or where a wall meets floor or ceiling joists. Many of these gaps can be filled with caulk or expandable foam insulation, depending on the size. For larger gaps, such as where wall meeting joists, cut out and stuff in pieces of batt insulation.
- Ensure insulation
Hire a qualified contractor to ensure that the walls and ceiling of your home is insulated according to recommended levels for your area. Install insulation as needed.
- Maintain your heating system
Hire a qualified technician to inspect and clean your heating system before the start of winter. A dirty furnace filter can restrict air flow, making your heating system work harder to keep you comfortable. Replace your furnace filter regularly throughout the season. Also, make sure registers and vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture, which can also restrict airflow and reduce comfort.
- Adjust your thermostat
Adjusting the thermostat is quite simply the most cost-effective way to reduce your energy bills. Lower temperatures to save energy at night or when no one is at home.
To optimize savings and convenience, install a programmable thermostat. You can set it to automatically adjust temperatures based on your preferences and schedule. Newer smart models offer advanced features, such as remote control.
- Check your chimney
Your chimney is an outlet for the warm air generated by your furnace. If your fireplace is not in use, keep the damper closed to prevent any warm air from going up the chimney. Check the seal on the flue damper and make sure that it is as snug as possible. Consider installing tempered glass doors and a heat exchange system that blows warm air back inside.
Visit www.celp.com for additional energy-saving tips.