Simple Home Winterizing to Save Energy

Home Winterizing

The temperature is dropping; there are snowflakes in the air. Winter is coming, and with it comes the long cold days when the furnace seems to run nonstop. Now is the time to take some simple, inexpensive steps to protect yourself from high energy bills all winter long.

Building a super-tight, highly-efficient green home or buying new, more efficient windows and appliances are a great way to lower energy bills, but there are much more inexpensive ways for everybody to lower their bills.

Eliminate the Draft

Drafts are a main source of energy loss in the home, up to 30% of a home's total energy usage. Place adraft snake (or even just a rolled up towel or any other kind of fabric) along the bottom of a drafty door and you're on the way to eliminating cold drafts that can cause the furnace to run more frequently.

Have the Furnace Inspected and Tuned Up

Home Winterizing

Like an automobile, the home furnace will run cleaner and more efficiently if it's in tip-top working condition. Hiring a professional to inspect and perform maintenance every year or every other year on your home's HVAC system (including cleaning, adjusting, and lubricating parts) reduces energy usage, and can save 5% on your heating costs (as well as a/c costs in the summer.) Every little bit helps.

A furnace inspection can also identify potential problems before they become serious, even life-threatening. An improperly running furnace can emit harmful levels of carbon monoxide; regular maintenance will reduce the chances of this happening.

Many utilities offer reduced-cost (or free) inspection and maintenance programs.

Change the Furnace Filter

During periods of frequent furnace usage, remember to change out the furnace filter once a month. A dirty furnace filter blocks air flow, requiring more energy to move air through the system. A clean filter also does a better job of filtering out harmful indoor air pollutants.

Reverse those Ceiling Fans

if your ceiling fans have the option, reverse their spin from counter-clockwise to clockwise. This will help the fan circulate warmer air trapped near the ceiling back down to where it's needed in living spaces. Doing so has the potential to lower heating costs by up to 10%.

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