Heating bills seem to just keep going up, and for most people, money is tight in our current economic climate. So start the cold season this year by thinking ahead and "winterizing" your residence for big potential savings:
1. Do a draft check around exterior doors windows, and outlets. One of the easiest methods is to make sure your home is all closed up, then light a candle and carefully go around all 4 edges of each door, window, and outlet. If the candle consistently flickers in one spot, then there may be an air leak. If you find a leak, visit a hardware store and ask about the many options available, such as cans of expanding spray foam insulation.
2. Seal your windows. If you have older, single-pane windows, consider sealing them up for the season with an inexpensive kit you can buy from Amazon that consists of clear plastic and double-sided tape. Once you have covered a window, you use a hair-dryer to shrink the plastic, and then trim the edges. It leaves you with such a clear view that you barely notice the plastic, while significantly improving the insulation value of your windows.
3. Buy and install a programmable thermostat. Although it sounds expensive and difficult, it doesn't have to be. Programmable thermostats can be found for under $25 dollars, and in many cases can be easily self-installed. Older thermostats can waste heat when we're not using them, and can easily adjust the temperature to meet your demands--warmer in the mornings, less heat when you're in bed under the covers, for example.
4. Use a space heater. Having a warm house can feel great, but if you're only using one room at night, there's no need to heat the entire house. Turning down the furnace and using a space heater to just heat the room you're in, can cut your heating bills down substantially, in many cases saving more in a single month than the cost of purchasing a space heater.
5. Check the exterior of your house for cracks or entry points for air. If you have access to a crawl space under your house, for example, or have exterior access to a basement. Make sure you don't have a draft going under your and cooling your floors. However there is one caveat, in some environments an air-flow is necessary under a house so that mold doesn't produce. In either case, under-floor insulation can be easy to install and add huge savings to your heating bill.
There are hundreds of excellent winterizing money saving tips out there, but actually taking a weekend to make it happen can put hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket by spring. And that's the kind of warm feeling we can all use.
Staying Warm Tip:
It sounds like a no-brainer, but everyone's so busy these days and it's easy to forget: Keep your head and feet warm! Wearing a warm hat and warm socks and slippers at home can make a huge difference to your comfort level, while letting you turn down the heat and save money.
Winterizing Your Home
How to Save Money on Utility Bills This Winter