Heating costs rise year after year, leaving homeowners with growing concerns over how they’re going to make it affordable to keep their home warm during the winter months.
Solutions to this issue range from long-term investments to quick fixes that will help you save in the short term. If you’re renting an apartment or plan on moving soon, you might be better off focusing on low-cost, short-term fixes while you shop for a home that is more energy-efficient.
In this article, we’ll cover both types of solutions so you can start saving money and fearing the heating bill each month.
Read on for the list of the most cost-effective ways to save on heating your house this winter.
Make sure your doors are sealed properly
A lot of heat can be lost from a door that has worn and outdated weatherstripping. Replacing it will help reduce heat loss for years to come.
Another common issue is heat being lost from door thresholds. To find out if your threshold needs to be adjusted, look for a space in between the bottom of the door and the threshold. It’s often easiest to see this at night if there’s a light on the other side of the door.
Many door thresholds can be adjusted by tightening and loosening a screw. However, if you’re renting and don’t want to make any big changes to the doors without your landlord’s permission, a good quick fix is to use something called a draft guard. This is essentially a roll of fabric that rests against the bottom of the door and blocks cold air from entering the house.
Plan heating around your schedule
With a programmable thermostat, you can decide when it matters most to you to heat the home. For homeowners who are at work from 9-5, it might not be necessary to heat an empty home for the whole day.
Similarly, you can save quite a bit of money by lowering your thermostat by 5 degrees during the night time while you’re asleep.
If you work from home, you might want to keep the house warm during the day so you can focus on your work rather than how cold your toes are! However, you also have the advantage of being home to take advantage of solar heat.
Opening shades and blinds that are receiving direct sunlight and closing those that aren’t is a great way to raise the temperature in your home by a few degrees on sunny days.
Seal cracks and holes
Most homes lose a significant amount of heat to small cracks around window frames, electrical units, and other vulnerable areas around the home. Sealing up these cracks and holes can save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you live in an older home that has seen a lot of wear and tear.
Heat only the rooms you need
There’s no need to heat every room in your house during the colder months. Keeping bedroom and bathroom doors shut and using a small space heater in the room you’re occupying is a great way to reduce your heating bill.
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.
Homeowners have a strange relationship with mice. Some of us welcome them into our home as pets, while others try to keep them out or kill them off with traps and poisons.
As the nights get colder mice get braver and attempt to take refuge in your warm home. Unfortunately, the relationship isn’t always mutually beneficial. Mice can get into your food, chew through wires, and leave their droppings in all corners of your home.
So what’s to be done about a mouse in the house?
There are really two steps to taking care of a mouse problem. The first is preventative, and the next is removing any mice that have found their way in.
Without taking preventative action, you’ll have to repeatedly deal with mice entering the home year after year. What are preventative actions? Mice enter your home through small holes in the exterior of your home. That can mean cracks beneath doors, in windows, or holes in floors, foundations, and walls.
To stop mice from taking advantage of these vulnerabilities, make sure the bottom of your doors seal tightly. Taking time to inspect your home isn’t only useful for keeping mice out, it could also help you save on heat and prevent water damage.
A good way to keep the mice out of your home is to take away what’s bringing them there in the first place: food. If you find that mice are getting into your pantry items or bread basket, use jars or plastic containers those mice won’t be able to penetrate.
Another option for preventing mice is to use a deterrent. Mint plants and bay leaves are both natural mice deterrents. Moth balls also work but are poisonous to pets and humans, so if you have kids or pets this isn’t the best option for you.
One final way would be to employ a feline companion. Mice are less likely to stick around if the house has a cat that will constantly be stalking them.
The only way to remove mice from your home is to trap them, one way or another. First off, avoid using glue traps at all costs. Mice will try to escape by any means, including gnawing at their own limbs, and the glue injures their eyes. The most humane way of removing mice is a live trap. Live traps are reusable and easy to set up. Once you’ve set a live trap, be sure to check it frequently, as mice can easily starve or dehydrate if the trap is forgotten.
Once you’ve caught a mouse, you can place a towel or blanket over the top to calm them down as you transport them. Be sure to follow local regulations about trapping and releasing wild animals.
Afterwards, just clean out your trap and store it in case you ever need it again.
OK – So its winter! Do not target your intentions on the time of year. Focus your efforts on the home buying market. For sellers of homes and land, winter may be the ideal time of the year to list your property for sale. A misconception by sellers that winter is a bad time to put your home on the market results in low inventories and less completion for sellers.
Choose A Realtor
List your home for sale with an experienced and reputable licensed Realtor that will expansively promote your property via the Internet as well as traditional marketing modalities such as an open house, or newspaper adds. Ask if you Realtor advertise your listing through social media, e-mails or newsletters. You will want to choose a Realtor than will provide you with exposure on multiple websites, forums, and social media platforms. Don’t just assume that your home will be promoted or featured. Work with a Realtor that will design a detailed proposal of how your home will be marketed.
Use Current Photos
When selling in winter, arrange with your realtor to schedule a shoot on a sunny morning, ideally after a fresh snowfall. Fresh snow can make the landscape appear bright and cheerful rather than dull and dreary. The photographer, by incorporating fresh snow, blue skies, clouds and greenery can showcase your home to its best advantage. Work with your realtor to ensure that all marketing shows are changed frequently to appear new and fresh and that all photos are updated for the current season and do not appear tired and dated.
Keep all sidewalks and driveways shoveled and free of snow and ice. Keep the front porch free of newspapers, shovels, boots or clutter. Make sure the entry way is clear and provides easy access. The home should always look clean and well maintained. If you have any small repairs that have not been addressed, fix them before putting the house on the market.
Ask your Realtor to do a walk through the house with you and make suggestions and impartial observations. Your realtor’s experience with buyer’s concerns will alert him or her to potential problems you may not recognize or have noticed.
Depersonalize The Property
As an example, the hot pink wall and the lime green shag rug in the bathroom look dated and have to go. Often a whole house de-cluttering is to remove the seller’s personality from the property. If your photos, sports memorabilia, photos, and musical instruments are strung about, it is virtually impossible for a potential buyer to visualize his or her stuff in its place.
Keep Your Home Warm And Cozy
If your home is to be viewed by potential buyers, now is not the time to turn down the thermostat to save on energy costs. Especially when cold winter winds are blowing, you want visitors to step inside to an embracing warm rather than a chilly draft. Having the home warm and inviting give buyers a reason to linger.