Save Money on Heat This Winter with These Inexpensive Techqniques

The cold weather is upon us once again. And while it does brings the joys of the holidays and serene, snowy landscapes, it also brings expensive heating and utility bills.

People who have electric heat watch their bills double or more during the winter months. And for those who burn oil, wood or pellets, fuel costs are rising year after year.

To help offset the increased costs of heating their home in the winter, many people have turned to cost-efficient solutions that can help mitigate the effects of rising prices.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most simple and effective ways to conserve heat in your home so that you can get the most out of your heating source each month.

Apply window insulating film

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to mitigate the amount of heat list from your windows is to use window insulating film. During the winter months, this quick fix can save you $15 per window during each season. If you have large, draft windows, these thin sheets of clear plastic can be quite effective.

Proper installation of these insulators makes them practically invisible unless you inspect the windows closely. To make them less obvious, use a hair dryer to shrink the film, making it airtight and removing any wrinkles in the plastic.

Work with sunlight

We get so few hours of daylight during the winter that the Sun doesn’t get much of a chance to heat up our homes.

Take advantage of natural light throughout by opening the curtains for rooms that receive direct sunlight at varying times of the day. Of course, this is hard to do if you are away from home for most of the day. In that case, it’s often better to keep northern- and eastern-facing curtains closed throughout the day.

Lower the thermostat at night

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating by lowering your thermostat by 10°F for 8 hours overnight. This is potentially a huge amount of savings for those who don’t mind bundling up in bed during the night, or for those who can control the heat in different parts of their home, heating only their bedroom overnight.

Seal up cracks and holes in your home

Before the cold weather hits, take a walk around the interior and exterior of your home and search for cracks and holes to seal up. Sometimes outdoor lines and pipes are sealed with caulk that has since cracked and fallen away. Using an expanding foam will ensure the cracks stay closed and keep the cold air out.

Similarly, check the doors of your home for sealed weatherstripping. On a cold day, you can often feel a draft by putting your hand near the bottom of your doors. To reduce this draft, you can buy one of many types of weatherstripping.

Felt strips can be bought in large rolls, but typically only last for a year or two. V-strips tend to be the most durable.

Using these four inexpensive methods, you can start saving today on your home heating bill and be prepared for the coming months.

How to DIY your windows for this winter season

Planning for the cold weather months saves homeowners time and money. The financial savings involve reducing drafts and the energy losses, causing your bill to decline. These rank among the do-it-yourself home insulation strategies worth considering.

1: Address screen doors

Many storm doors come with sliding glass panes and a screen option to allow fresh air to flow into the home. These products appear reasonably secure against drafts with the glass lowered. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Storm doors typically are not installed with preventing air leaks in mind. One DIY way to improve them is by applying plastic insulation around the pane-screen system. Homeowners can use the same inexpensive plastic shrink-wrap kits used to cover windows.

2: Add insulation to attics

A home’s attic ranks among one of the largest areas for heat loss because the heat from the lower levels rises to the attick. So, your furnace may be triggered early and often. Even if your attic has reasonably sound insulation, consider adding a little extra where heat loss is likely to happen.

3: Permanently winterize windows

The plastic shrink-wrap kits sold in stores are a yearly renewal commitment. However, there is an alternative to performing this task and spending the extra money each winter. If outdated and inefficient windows cause cold air leaks, replacing them may be worth considering. But if the drafts seep through the casing surrounding the window, you may be able to eliminate the cold air inexpensively.

Consider removing the interior lumber surrounding the window without damaging the walls. Once removed, inspect the space inside the wall to see if it has secure insulation. If not, deploy an insulation product best suited to solve the issue. A wide range of reasonably-priced spray foam and loose fiber products can solve the problem.

Although winter chills will bring higher utility bills, homeowners can minimize costs with improved insulation. The root cause of energy waste revolves around cold air leaks. These and other DIY efforts can prevent unnecessary expenses.