Once the weather starts to cool off, many homeowners begin dreading their monthly energy bills. In the average home, heating accounts for around 48 percent of all energy consumption during the coldest months of the year. These five simple tips will help you make your home as warm and efficient as possible this winter.
Close and Seal Your Windows
All of the windows throughout your home should be closed and sealed off before the first winter storm. If you have older windows, then you might want to use removable or permanent caulking to seal up any cracks around the edges. You can also open them for a few minutes in the middle of the day if your home tends to trap cold air inside.
Use Drapes and Curtains Strategically
Heavy drapes are an excellent form of insulation, and they can often warm up a room by a few degrees when used properly. As a general rule, you should keep your drapes closed unless there is direct sunlight hitting the window. Homeowners who don’t have drapes can apply insulation film to their windows to let in sunlight and trap warm air inside.
Trim Your Plants and Trees
At least a few times a year, you should walk around your home and look for obstructions. Trees and bushes that are blocking the sunlight from hitting your home need to be trimmed back or removed entirely. Pruning your trees will also reduce your risk of serious structural damage in the event of a heavy storm. Unless you have the proper equipment, you should most likely leave this project to the professionals.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Newer HVAC systems generally have a lifespan of around 20 years, but you must have yours serviced at least once every six months by a company like Alabama Climate Control if you want it to last that long. During these service calls, the technician can carry out a variety of important tasks like cleaning the outdoor condenser and checking the ducts for leaks. They can also test the thermostat to make sure that it is accurate and working properly.
Reverse the Ceiling Fans
Leaving your ceiling fans on while it is cold outside might seem counterintuitive, but stirring up the air could increase the indoor temperature by a few degrees. Warm air always rises, and the ceiling fans should be turning counterclockwise to push the air back down. Keeping them on the lowest setting will prevent any unwanted drafts.
Turning your heater or furnace up isn’t the only way to stay toasty in the coming months. Getting your home ready for the winter will allow you to keep your energy bills as low as possible without sacrificing your family’s comfort.