‘Tis the season for cranked thermostats and evenings sipping on hot chocolate! Last winter was brutally cold; 11% cooler than the previous 10-year national average, which drove up heating bills. According to the Department of Energy, Americans will have lower heating bills this winter due to expected warmer temperatures.
Today, every penny counts! Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you winterize your home.
- Avoid the Draft
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cold drafts can waste 5-30% of your home’s energy use. Easy solutions for this include a door draft blocker, which can be as easy as a rolled up towel or a “draft snake.”
- Caulk the Gaps
Keep the warm air in and cool air out by caulking around your doors and windows. Sealing up drafts with caulking and weather stripping can save up to 30% of energy use annually.
- Lower Water Heater Temps
Conventional water heaters are typically set at 140°F, but most households need a setting of only 120°F for residents of the house to be comfortable. Most homeowners leave their water heater on the default setting without realizing that this small change can save between 6-10% on your bills.
- Change Furnace Filters
It’s important to replace or clean out furnace filters once a month during the heating season. It’s probably not something you have on your monthly to-do list, however, dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy usage. Create a monthly reminder for yourself!
- Seal Ducts
On average, 10-30% of air escapes from ducts. An easy solution to escaping air is to hire a professional to test your duct system. Properly sealed ducts can save you up to $140 annually, according to the American Solar Energy Society.
- Reverse Ceiling Fans
Believe it or not, running your ceiling fans in colder months can actually save up to 10% on heating costs. Warm air rises, but by switching the rotation of your fans, that cooler air is drawn upwards and forces the warmer air near the ceiling back down into the space. On most fan models, there is a small switch on the fan to reverse the rotation.
Keep warm during the longer winter months by properly preparing your home. It’s never too early to start,—especially with the unpredictability of Ohio weather!