As we get further into fall, energy bills start to climb.
Faced with chilly nights and frosty mornings, many homeowners are running their heaters day and night – a decision that means higher electric costs and more energy usage on the whole.
But cold weather doesn’t automatically mean you have to shell out more on utilities. In fact, with a few carefully chosen home improvement projects, you can actually decrease your energy bill – even in the cold winter months.
Insulate your windows.
Head to any hardware store and purchase a couple of window insulation kits (only about $5 each). Using easy-to-install, barely visible plastic films, these kits are highly effective at keeping cold air out all winter long.
Install a smart thermostat.
A smart thermostat can help you optimize your energy usage and even set temperatures for different times of day and days of the week. This keeps you from wasting precious energy (and cash) on times you’re not in the house or won’t be for some time. You can even control your thermostat using your phone with some models!
Get a low-flow showerhead.
Like to crank up the heat when you hop in the shower? Install a low-flow showerhead to ensure you’re not using up too much water or electricity while you do it.
Replace weather stripping.
Add new weather stripping around doors and windows – especially if your existing strips are torn, old or worn down. You should also use caulk to seal up any holes around window and door frames, if you see any.
Use windows to your advantage.
Have any south-facing windows? Once the sun is up, open the curtains and let the rays warm up your home naturally. Be sure to close them once the temperature starts to drop.
Seal up your air ducts.
Any cracks or leaks in your ducting will let hot air escape, essentially wasting your hard-earned dollars (not to mention making your house harder to warm!) Use duct sealant to repair any leaks or cracks between ducting in the attic.
The Best Option
If you’re willing to put in a little more up-front cash, installing new doors and windows – especially energy efficient ones – is the best way to keep energy bills low year-round. Just make sure to call in a pro for help, as they’ll be able to help you choose the best products and assist with the necessary permitting for your project.