Winterize Your Home

Winterize Your HomeThe cold-weather months bring more than just snow and ice. In many households, they bring steep energy bills, too.

That's because we use more energy in the winter. Some of us run our home heating systems all day to keep the temperature comfortable. Our systems have to run more often and use more energy to keep up with the colder temperatures outside.

What can we do about it? How can we save energy and money?

Here are simple actions you can take to keep your home warm and save heat and energy without spending much money:

1. Find and seal leaks

About 25 percent of your home’s heat escapes through leaky windows and doors, which in turn can drive up energy usage. Storm doors and windows should be equipped with weatherstripping on all movable joints. Another way to stop drafts is to caulk any cracks you see in corners, around chimneys, and any other areas where air is leaking out. 

2. Apply window insulation kits

Pick up a window insulation kit from your local hardware store. Window plastic is invisible and is an inexpensive and easy way to help your home retain its heat.

3. Run your ceiling fan in reverse

Switching from a counterclockwise rotation to a clockwise rotation helps recirculate the warm air that is resting along your ceiling back into the living space — this cuts your heating costs by as much as 10 percent.

4. Change your air filter

Change your filter every few months or whenever it's dirty. This will help your furnace to run more efficiently and help you to save energy and money.

5. Protect your Pipes

Buy preslit pipe foam from your local hardware store and wrap it around your pipes, securing them with duct tape. Choose insulation with the highest R-value practical to provide better heat-blocking power.

6. Insulate

Adding insulation to outer walls, attics, and basements helps to keep your house warm in the winter and lower energy costs.

7. Layers, layers, layers

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower and wear layers — throw on a warm sweater, a pair of slippers, and get cozy.

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