This winter has started off with a brutal blast of cold. Typically, energy bills don’t start skyrocketing until January. But this year we jumped right into the deep end. When temperatures plunge so does you bank account. We feel the pain in your wallet and want to help you fight the rising cost of energy. Here are a few tips to help.
Windows and Doors
Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts. The idea is to keep the hot air in and the cold air out so it’s imperative to check your windows and doors. There are several different ways to prevent windows from being a sieve. A creative and easy way to fight a drafty window is to use cellular shades. Keeping your doors in check is a little harder. When the weather turns, door jams swell and the integrity of the material can be compromised. If you can’t adjust the screws and don’t want to replace the door there are products you can buy to place at the foot of the door that will help seal the gap. Door draft stoppers are cheap and extremely effective.
Obviously, fireplaces are a source of heat, but most people don’t feel comfortable going to sleep or leaving their home with a fire blazing. When your chimney isn’t being used it becomes a huge hole in your heating bubble. Make sure the chimney and fireplace are clean and sealed. Keep the flue closed when you are not using the fireplace. Even when the chimney flue is closed, some warm air is still getting away. An easy solution is to block the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon. The chimney balloon is designed to prevent warm air from escaping your home. Just remember to remove it before your next fire!
This is an area that can rapidly become quicksand. Not only are you decorating your home with all sorts of lights, but it is also getting darker earlier. Lights are coming on at four and five o’clock, which means you are using almost twice as much electricity as you do the rest of the year. A good habit to instill in your household is making sure unnecessary lights are turned off. Turning off lights in unoccupied rooms will save a little money. Another quick money is saver is using LED lights instead of incandescent. LED lights use much less energy. If you want to keep the house looking good for the season without breaking the bank, it is worthwhile to invest in some modern light strings. You can also set the lights on a timer so you don’t have to worry about them remaining on while the sun is up.
Having a properly insulated home is extremely important, but because we don’t see it or directly feel the effect we forget about our insulation. Thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat in homes that don’t have proper insulation. It’s a good idea to have a professional come to your home and inspect. Most of the time companies will give you a free estimate and it’s a great idea to have multiple companies come take a look. Even in the most insulated attics, the access door may not be properly insulated, letting warm air escape through the attic hatch. And if the door is warped or something obstructs the opening, then the door won’t lie flat, allowing air to leak into the attic. Make sure that the door is flush and insulated.