As the seasons change and the cold weather begins to bear down on us, it’s important to reevaluate your home so you can save money on home utility bills. Weatherizing and insulating your home against the brutal winter weather not only keeps you and your family warmer, it helps to keep more money in your pocket.
One of the first steps to saving money through winterizing your home is to check the insulation levels throughout your home, including walls, ceilings, attics and basements. Insulation is measured in R-levels and the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR has recommendations for the R-levels that would best suit your home depending on its geographical location.
After evaluating the insulation levels in your home, it’s important to check ductwork, attics and basements for air leaks – whether exterior or interior air. By sealing leaky ductwork, you can ensure that your heated air isn’t leaking outside and the cold exterior air isn’t sneaking in your home. ENERGY STAR offers a step-by-step do-it-yourself guide to sealing and insulating your home.
It’s also important to check for drafty doors, fireplaces and windows, which can easily release heat and let cool air into your home. Another often-overlooked area of heat loss is uncovered floors – whether tile, wood or other hard material. Carpeted floors, either fully carpeted or area rugs, helps to retain heat and warmth throughout the house.
Other quick tips for saving money on home utilities in the winter include rearranging furniture so air ducts and registers have free air flow, letting sunlight into the home by opening blinds, installing a programmable thermostat to easily adjust the temperatures when you’re home or away, and having your furnace professionally inspected to ensure proper operation.
For quick savings, according to Gas South, lowering your thermostat by one degree during a 24-hour can reduce your heating bill by 3 percent. For more energy saving tips, visit Gas South’s Energy Saving Tips.
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