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.