Winter may be fast approaching, and you may be wondering how to prepare your home for the cooler temperatures ahead. But winterizing a home is more than just putting away your garden hose and patio furniture. When prepared correctly, the below tips can also help keep your utility costs to a minimum and conserve energy.
Change Filters Regularly
Today’s new age technology for the home is designed to make your home run more efficiently to save energy. The unique devices can also help lower utility costs. Advancements such as programmable thermostats can be set to go on and off at specific times of the day and night. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can also adjust the temperature through an app. The settings will also alert you when your furnace and humidifier filters need changing. Replacing the dirty filter monthly can extend the life of your furnace. It can also boost the quality of air throughout your home and cut back on energy bill costs. Manufacturers also make permanent filters that reduce waste and provide cleaner air.
Have Your Furnace Inspected
Before you run your furnace for the season, you want to ensure that it has been tuned up and properly inspected. The costs associated with the inspection are typically in the $80 to $150 range, depending on the type of system. If there are any issues, have them repaired before the temperatures take a turn for the worse. If you’re in the market for a new furnace, switch to the energy-efficient models to take advantage of tax credits and discounts. Even though your furnace has been already fired up to ward off winters chill, there are reasons to update other systems within your household. Contractors are busy with AC installation during the winter because of the tax rebates available. Since manufacturers raise prices come spring, you’ll also be able to get in on the year end deals before the increases.
Turn Down the Temp on Your Hot Water Heater
If you’re looking to lower the costs of your gas and electric bills by as much as 10 percent, you want to turn down the temp on your hot water heater. A steamy shower in the winter can be especially inviting. Unfortunately, with the conventional temperature setting of 140 Fahrenheit set by contractors, you could be paying a lot of money for the additional steam. Setting your hot water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees will provide a hot shower without having to worry about a scalding burn.
Professionally Clean Your Chimney
Your fireplace may get a lot of use during the winter. Before you put a log in the fire, you want to ensure that it has been inspected and cleaned by a licensed contractor. If you use your fireplace on a regular basis, it should be maintained every two years. If there is damage, you want to have the contractor fill any cracks and repair the masonry work. When the fireplace is not in use, close the damper tightly to prevent heat from escaping.
One of the easiest ways to an energy-efficient household is by adding insulation. Between walls and added to the basement ceiling or attic floor, you can lower your utility bills significantly. Your home will also be noticeably warmer. If you use high efficiency insulation, you may qualify for reimbursement costs. You can check your states government program offerings by visiting them online.
Caulk Windows and Doors
Heating a home can be costly. That’s why you want to do everything you can to keep the toasty warm air from escaping. Before old man winter rears its ugly head, you want to check your windows and doors for holes or leaks. Using caulk to patch the problematic areas. In addition to inside, you also want to make sure your dwelling is properly sealed from the outside.
Enlist the Help of the Experts
Your energy costs may be high, and you may be at a loss as to the reasons why. If you’re looking for assistance, you can enlist the help of the experts. Talk to your utility company to see if they will provide you with an energy audit. The company will go through your home and offer suggestions on home improvements to make and areas that may be losing energy.
With winter not far behind, the projected costs of heating your home for the upcoming season can be frightening. Fortunately, you still have time to make your home more energy-efficient and beat the winter blues with the above winterizing tips.