As much as we all hate to admit it, summer is over. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures dropping lower and the heating bills getting higher. That’s right, with winter on the horizon, you can plan on those energy bills rising higher as the temperatures get lower, and from the sounds of things in the 2015 Farmers’ Almanac, this year could be a doozey. With predictions of below normal temperatures and lots of snow and rain predicted, being prepared with ways to save on heating costs before old man winter sets in could be even more important than in years past.
Whether you take these predictions seriously, there is no doubt things are cooling off and about to get even colder outside. There are some things you can do around your home now, to keep your home warm and cozy this winter.
Make sure you get your furnace cleaned in the fall. Just like with your vehicle, regular maintenance ensures your furnace is running efficiently. The dirtier it is, the harder it has to work to put out heat and the higher your energy costs. If you use other forms of heat, such as a woodstove or a pellet stove, make sure you have the proper annual maintenance done before you start relying on it to keep your home heated.
If you use a fireplace, keep the damper closed when you’re not using it to keep the cold air out.
Install a programmable thermostat that way you aren’t heating your home when no one is there, but you’re not freezing when you walk through the door at night either. Also, turning down the heat at night by 10-15 degrees can save you 10% a year!!
Check your windows and doors to make sure they are airtight. The last thing you need on those cold, blustery nights is a draft coming in through your windows or doors. A sure sign that your windows are not airtight is condensation on the window.
If you have older windows, upgrading to energy efficient ones can save a lot of money on heating (and when summer rolls back around cooling) costs. In fact, energy efficient windows pay often for themselves. With new technologies, installing new windows could not only lower your energy bill but also make your home more comfortable.
If your doors are at all warped or cracked, they could also be letting the cold air in and the warm air out. Replacing an old entry door can help to better insulate your home while at the same time adding security. While replacing windows and doors can seem like a large investment, the money to save will be well worth it in the long run.