As the bitter winter cold begins to set in, the drafts and cracks in your house or apartment once again become a major problem. Keeping your home warm without having to pay a pricey heating bill can be a difficult task. That’s why we asked energy and home repair experts to find out the 10 best ways to keep heating costs down during the winter.
Install an attic stair cover.
“When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed sheet of plywood. An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an insulated attic stair cover. An attic stair cover seals the stairs, stopping drafts and energy loss. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.” – Mark D. Tyrol, P.E., President of Battic Door Energy Conservation Products
“Be sure replace and clean all your furnace filters regularly and especially before the winter months begin. This will help to let your heat flow in an unobstructed way, hence keeping you from increasing the heat more than needed. This will keep costs down.” – Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola, pizzigatidesigns.com
Know when to open and close your curtains.
“Close the curtains at night to retain heat and open them in the daytime to accept solar heat.” – Caroline de Gruchy, Home Inspections Squared
Turn down your thermostat.
“By turning down the thermostat about 8 degrees you can save as much as 10 percent on your energy bill. Target the hours you turn it down so you don’t even notice — like when you leave for work in the morning and when you get into bed at night.” – Grace Keister, Online Marketing Specialist at First Team Real Estate
Choose your bakeware wisely.
“For holiday baking, use glass or ceramic pans, which allows you to turn your oven temperature down 25 degrees, saving you energy and money.” – Clearview Energy
Reverse the direction of your fans
“Once you kick on your furnace for the winter season, be sure to reverse the direction that your ceiling fans are spinning. Because heat rises, this will ensure that all the warm air your furnace is producing will be pushed down, making sure your home is heated evenly.” – Aire Serv of the Lakeshore
Add a fireplace plug to your fireplace.
“Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, the Fireplace Plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors and noise. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.” – Mark D. Tyrol, P.E., President of Battic Door Energy Conservation Products
Replace your curtains and drapes.
“Install some heavy drapery! It will significantly limit the draft caused by windows.” – Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola, pizzigatidesigns.com
Buy a “smart” thermostat.
“Programmable thermostats range anywhere from about $40 – $100, and after you program them, the temperature will automatically be set to your preferences and you don’t have to remember to change it throughout the day.” – Grace Keister, Online Marketing Specialist at First Team Real Estate
Seal drafty cracks with foam insulation.
“I would walk around the house and check all windows and trim for loose or missing caulk. Spray some insulating foam into the cracks and let it dry. Then re-caulk over the foam. If the caulk shrinks or pulls away over time, you still have the area insulated with the foam. Caulk alone doesn’t do a great job over time.” – Jacy Elsesser, AskTheHardwareGuy.com