We’re just now approaching fall, but it’s already time to start thinking ahead to how to prepare for winter. Winter is a time when many people see double-digit percentage hikes in the cost of heating their home. Winter can be extremely expensive regarding your energy consumption, and if you’re interested in being more eco-friendly, this is something to consider as well.
Even when crude oil prices are on the rise and winter temperatures are freezing, there are things you can do to cut your utility bills and be a more efficient household.
Choosing High-Quality Window Coverings
When you choose high-quality window shades such as solar shades, it can go a long way toward helping your home be more efficient year-round. In the summer months, you can close solar shades to block out some of the sunlight that makes your home hotter and increases the bills to cool your home.
In winter, you can keep your shades up to let in sunlight during the day which warms your home naturally. In the evenings, if you have high-quality window coverings, you can pull them down, which will keep the warmth in.
Time Your Heating System
A good rule of thumb, if you’re interested in increasing your home’s cold weather efficiency, is to program your heating system on a timer. You can set it to turn the heating on at a certain time, such as 30 minutes before you get home from work. However, turn it on a lower temperature. This can be more efficient than turning it on as soon as you get home, but doing so at a higher temperature.
Also, don’t leave your heating on all day even when you don’t need it, because this is inefficient and costly.
If you have a radiator and you have your sofa or a large piece of furniture in front of it, that furniture is actually going to be absorbing heat, and then it’s not going to circulate around your home and warm it up.
Keep furniture and even hanging curtains away from radiators, so heat isn’t trapped and absorbed.
Close the Gaps
As the weather starts to cool it’s a good time to make your way around your home and see where gaps might exist, and what you can do to fix them.
For example, there are probably gaps around your windows and doors, so add some caulk or weather stripping.
If you have an attic, add fiberglass insulation to the floors, and it will save you as much as 30 percent on both your heating and cooling costs.
Finally, it’s also a good time to have your heating system inspected and possibly cleaned. During warmer months, heating and cooling systems can collect allergens and irritants that not only make the people in your household feel unwell but also cause your system to operate inefficiently. If you have an HVAC inspect, the technician can clean it and help improve the strength of airflow, meaning more warmth and lower bills.