Whether it is winter or summer, one thing is certain – the temperature outside your home doesn’t match the temperature within, and unless your home is properly sealed and you have weatherproofed windows, the conditions outside have a big chance of affecting the inside.
A leaky house affects the consumption for your heating and air system, leading to higher utility bills and environmental stress. Taking a few simple steps that won’t break the bank can lower your utility bills while saving the planet.
1. Install storm windows correctly
If you have old windows, make sure they are in good repair and closed correctly all around your home. Storm windows help to provide an additional layer of protection against the cold winter air. Caulking around older windows can work wonders.
2. Add honeycomb cellular shades
Honeycomb cellular shades help to keep cold air and drafts out, not just from the window, but from around the window frame too. It’s important to lower them at night when the temperatures are colder, and then open them during the day to use the energy of the sun to warm up the house. Some styles qualify for a 2011 Federal energy tax credit when installed inside a double-glazed, weatherproofed window.
3. Use door draft stoppers
You can buy a door draft stopper, or if you’re creative, make one yourself. Place them along your outside doors to help keep away cold air that make come underneath
4. Fix leaks around doors and windows
An easy trick is to light a candle and move it around the door and window frames in your home. If it flickers there is a draft coming in. Patch the drafty spots with caulk or weather stripping. Weatherproofing windows is one of the greatest improvements you can make.
5. Get a water heater insulating blanket
Insulating your hot water heater saves energy by reducing heat lost through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%, which will help save you money on your energy bills.
6. Add attic or basement insulation
Adding attic or basement insulation is not cheap, but it will also give you the largest return on your investment. Large amounts of heat can be lost through uninsulated, or under insulated, basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
7. Get a programmable thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat to automate indoor temperature and trim about $200 off annual heating and cooling costs.
8. Weatherstrip the house
Sealing gaps around doors and windows can make your home feel warmer-and save you 10 to 15% on your energy bills.