Even though 'winterization' is usually a process of the fall months, it's not too late to adopt certain practices that will keep your home warmer now, amidst this frigid winter. 2014 has opened up with record low temperatures and sky-high heating bills, and even though spring is supposedly on its way, recent and coming snowstorms assure us that winter is still in full force. So if you missed taking winter precautions a few months back, following are some tips for keeping your home warm and lowering your heating bill now.
Use a draft blocker
One of the easiest ways of keeping the cold outside and the warm inside is by using a draft blocker, also known as a draft snake. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Minimize the effect of drafts by rolling up a towel and wedging it against the bottom of your door.
Replace furnace filter
In the heating season, experts agree changing your furnace filter on a monthly basis will improver your furnace's efficiency. Furnace filters clogged with dust, dander and dirt restrict airflow and cause your furnace to work harder. In the long run, this may lead to damages and repairs'much more costly and time consuming than simply taking a few minutes to replace a dirty filter. Also, fresh filters yield a higher quality of air to circulate through your home.
Run fans in reverse
This tip is debatable, but the idea is that reversing the rotation of your fan will pull warm air upward and then disperse it outward, creating a convection-like effect and more-thoroughly heating your home. Many newer fans have a switch or means of easily changing fan rotation. Opponents of this tip, however, agree that a slow rotation is all you need to help with heat circulation, and that altering the rotation is unnecessary.
Turn down water heater
Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees. This is a little overkill, as most households don't really need that much steam'even though they end up paying for it at the end of the month. Lowering your heater just 20 degrees will still yield you hot water, as well as save you a few bucks.
Lower thermostat when away
Many of us leave our thermostats at a comfortable, warm temperature even when we're not home to enjoy it. Sure, this makes for a nice greeting when we arrive after work, but it comes with a substantial cost. Lowering your thermostat a few degrees when you leave in the morning and then boosting it back up when you return can save you hundreds over the course of the heating season.
Open blinds and curtains during the day
This tip will supplement the lowering of your thermostat. During the day, allow the daylight to shine into your home. Open the blinds and curtains. The sun's rays have a warming, magnifying effect when shining through windows. Take advantage of this free, solar heating.
Close blinds and curtains at night
When the sun is no longer heating your home, close the blinds and curtains to trap in the heat. Curtains, especially, have an insulating effect and provide for a good barrier between the interior of your home and the cool air that passes through windows.
Wear a sweater
Adapting to the wintry season by wearing warmer clothing is also an option. This can keep your heating bill down and still keep you nice and warm!
Above were just a few quick and easy tips for keeping your home warm while lowering your heating bill this winter. Of course there are other measures to consider when winterizing your home, such as installing energy efficient windows. Ready to make your home warm and cozy for the rest of the season? Click below for $500 off any window or door project!