As winter arrives, homeowners begin cranking up the heat in order to keep their homes warm and comfortable all season long. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to maintain your home and heating system properly, you could be throwing money out the door on unnecessary energy costs. Here are 5 simple fall home improvements that will save you money in the winter months.
- Apply caulk and expanding foam where needed. Check your entire home for cracks and leaks that may be decreasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. Cracks allow cold air from the outside to enter your home during the winter months, meaning your heating system will have to work extra hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Search for cracks and gaps in your home by thoroughly inspecting your home’s windows and doors, where leaks are common. Also check out your basement and the areas around electrical outlets, switches or air vents. Once you find these spaces, you can seal them up with caulk and expanding foam for an easy, affordable and effective way to save money on your energy bills this winter. You can purchase caulk and expanding foam at a local home and garden center or even at the grocery store!
- Add insulation to your home. This is especially important if you live in an older home in which the insulation was not redone recently. Also, even newer homes often lack proper insulation in areas like the attic, so you may consider adding more there as needed! Make sure to hire a professional who can assess your home and tell you where insulation needs to be boosted with fiberglass batt insulation in order to keep comfortable air contained inside of your home. While it may cost a bit upfront, proper insulation will ensure that your home heats up properly and evenly so that warm air and energy stays inside where it belongs.
- Purchase a programmable thermostat. These thermostats can help you to save a significant amount of money all winter long by only using and producing heat when needed. You can pre-set this thermostat to turn on and off at specific times depending on your schedule and when you will be home. The thermostat can turn off daily when you leave for work, and then kick back on about a half hour before you get home, so that you come home to a comfortable, warm house that hasn’t been heated all day for no reason.
- Have your heating system tuned up and inspected by a professional. It is smart to have your system inspected at least once a year to make sure it is operating smoothly. A malfunctioning heating system will often waste energy due to its inefficiency, so checking it out early can prevent your heating system from wasting energy throughout the winter season.
- Utilize or install ceiling fans in your home. Ceiling fans can easily be incorporated into any home decor, plus they are extremely practical. Fans are not just for cooling, but also for circulating warm air as well. In the winter months, you can cut back on energy waste and give your heating system a break by using ceiling fans frequently. Find the switch on your fan and make sure the blades are running in a clockwise direction during the winter. This rotation will help to push warm air that has risen to the ceiling, down to the floor where it can be enjoyed in your living space. This simple and cost-effective trick can save you up to 10% on your energy bills if used regularly and consistently.
Implementing these helpful home improvements during the fall will ensure that your home is ready and prepared for the winter season. Making sure your home and heating system, preferably a top HVAC brand, are well maintained early on can allow you to reduce energy waste and cut back on your energy bills in the winter months significantly.