With fall winding down and the days getting colder, now is the perfect time to weatherproof your home and save on heating bills. Here are the five steps you can take to stay warm while keeping costs down:
1). Call your inspector for a checkup.
When was the last time your home and furnace were inspected by a professional? If you can’t remember, it’s time to give your local NPI inspector a call. They’ll be able to pinpoint any HVAC or insulation issues and recommend next steps for getting the most from your heating unit.
2). Save on heating with a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to control and lower the temperature in your home, even while away or sleeping, using customizable settings. This upfront investment could save you up to 10% on your utility bill for years to come. You may not be able to control the weather, but you’ll have complete control over your home!
3). Replace old weather-stripping around windows and doors.
According to Black Hills Energy, seven to 12% of a home’s heat is lost around windows and doors, prompting homeowners to turn up the dial. Consider replacing any old weather-stripping around windows and doors, a simple DIY fix that could save you hundreds of dollars.
Covering windows in clear plastic can also reduce heat loss. Insulation film is inexpensive, easy to mount, and won’t harm the trim when applied correctly. Simply peel it off when spring comes to welcome in the breeze!
4). Check electrical outlets, the hidden culprits for winter drafts.
Electrical outlets aren’t always insulated properly, and with homes including more and more of them per square foot, they can be a surprising source of drafts. A small amount of foam sealant in and around the electrical box can make a world of difference for the longevity of your home. Adding sealant around pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter the house can also help hold in warmth.
5). Form warm new habits.
Did you know?
–For every degree below 70 F, you can save three percent in heating costs. Turning down the thermostat and placing a space heater in a common area where your family gathers can cut down on house-wide heating costs.
–You should change your HVAC system’s air filter every three months. Not only will your system run more efficiently, a clean filter free of dirt and residue keeps your family healthier, too.
–You can generate warmth with everyday activities. Cooking on the stovetop or taking a hot shower with the door open can allow warm air (and much-needed moisture) to spread through several rooms. During the day, use the sun’s natural warmth by leaving curtains open to allow light to shine inside. Trimming any branches blocking the windows can amplify this effect, maximizing the ambient heat gained.
Our highly trained inspectors have the skills, experience and expertise to help you protect your most important investment: your home. Visit National Property Inspections to find a certified inspector near you in the United States or Canada.
Have a question about heating bills and home insulation? Share with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our newsletter for monthly maintenance tips!