Heating season is coming up fast in many parts of the United States. Is your home ready?
The US Energy Information Administration released their Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook, and home heating costs are expected to rise for homeowners using natural gas, propane, and electricity. Many experts predict a winter as cold or colder than last year. Here are 3 tips to get your home ready for heating season. You can take them one at a time, or make a weekend project out of them. We’ve also included Next Steps to help you save even more money during this heating season.
Here are 3 quick and easy tips to help make your home less expensive this heating season. We’ve also included 3 Next Steps for when you’re ready for a Do It Yourself project:
- Turn your thermostat down. Why pay to heat your home if you’re not in it? When you leave the house in the morning, turn your thermostat down 10 degrees and you could save up to 10 percent on your heating bill this winter.
- Next step: Consider a programmable thermostat. A basic model can adjust your home’s temperature automatically, so you can set it and forget it! An advanced model programs itself and can be controlled from your smartphone.
- Seal drafty window frames. Air leaks through window frames let cold air in, making your home drafty and uncomfortable. They also make your heating system work harder, leading to higher operating costs and increased stress on system components. The quick and easy solution? Tape the inside of the window frame with clear, heavy acrylic tape to stop the worst leaks.
- Next step: Cover leaky windows with a window insulation kit. Window insulation kits include puncture resistant film and heavy duty tape. Cover your windows, tape the plastic in place, and use a hair dryer to shrink and seal the plastic to fit your frames.
- Seal gaps around pipes, chimneys, cupboards, and closets. Air also leaks through these tiny gaps. It’s especially important to keep your home airtight between the insulated and uninsulated spaces, where cold air comes in and warm air – and your hard-earned dollars – escape. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks.
- Next step: Contact a local air sealing contractor or HVAC contractor to evaluate your home and make recommendations for sealing gaps in your home’s envelope and cleaning your ducts and air filters.
Getting your home ready for heating season doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. A few simple changes in your daily routine, or an afternoon of do it yourself projects is all you need to make your home more comfortable and less expansive this winter.