Air heating and cooling accounts for roughly half of the energy used in most homes. Here are a few tips to help you winterize your home and reduce your heating consumption. These tips will help you create a better air seal for your house as well as provide you ways to efficiently manage the temperature. From house fixes to small habit changes, winterizing your home can make a big difference to the amount you pay to heat your home each year.
I was provided with some expert tips from Jodi Marks by Mom Central Consulting. I will share those first and also add in some eco-friendly habits to help you conserve heat in your home.
Home improvement expert Jodi Marks is the former co-host of HGTV’s Fix It Up! and co-author of Fix It In a Flash, (affiliate link below) a how-to book on the basics of home repair. She is currently a cast member of the show Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford and is an expert on the Filtrete Healthy Home Authority panel.
Jodi Marks’ Expert Tips On How To Winterize Your Home:
In addition to keeping the home warm and safe for family and holiday guests, preparing the home for winter can help reduce monthly energy bills.
Change HVAC Filter
When sealing up the home to help keep the warm air in, keep in mind that indoor air can be two to five times worse than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA). To help improve your home’s indoor air quality and keep your heating system running efficiently, use a high performance filter, like the Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction filter from 3M. It captures 94 percent of large airborne particles, such as pet dander, mold spores and dust mite debris, from the air passing through the filter. The EPA suggests changing your filter every three months, so a good rule of thumb is to change your filter at the start of every season.
Seal Windows And Doors
Make sure you caulk and seal around your window frames if there is any air flow. Properly installing weatherproofing around your doors and windows and ensuring the insulation in your attic hasn’t gotten compacted can reduce air leakage in the home and help you save on your energy bill, according to Energy Star. Be sure to check around the dryer vent, the kitchen exhaust hood vent and even the water bib for your garden hose. These are prime areas where warm air can escape through your walls to the outside.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
No one enjoys coming home to a frigid house at the end of a long day, but no one wants to expense of running the heat at full blast all the time, either. An easy solution is to use a programmable thermostat. This can help to reduce energy costs and keep your home warm and toasty during the right times.
The leaves are falling from the trees as winter quickly approaches. Heavily weighted down gutters from water and leaves can begin to pull them away from the fascia boards and lead to structural problems down the road. Be sure to keep your gutters clean and ensure they drain water properly by filling in low areas with soil and slope the ground away from your home’s foundation.
A large and costly roof problem can be avoided by identifying small leaks, which can occur from the effects of strong winds that push rainwater under the shingles of your roof. Just because shingles are still in place doesn’t mean that there aren’t tears in them that could result in leaking, so be sure to have your roof inspected by a licensed professional. A roof inspection is most often free so make sure you ask before you choose a professional to check your roof.
I think these tips from Jodi Marks are really great to remind you that a little up front work can save you a lot of time and money later!
How To Conserve Heat Energy At Home with Eco-Friendly Habits
I am going to add a few more tips to help winterizer your home. While Jodi Marks’ tips focused more on to do projects to prepare your home, my tips will focus more on how to conserve heat energy at home through every day habits.
- Turn down your thermostat. We always set the thermostat in our house at least 10 degrees lower at night since we will be under the covers anyway. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save as much as 1% for each degree lowered if the setback period is eight hours long. So we save 10% that way. You know what you are comfortable with as far as temperature but try wearing a sweater with cozy socks and reducing the temperature setting on your thermostat just a bit and then maybe a bit more if you can.
- Insulate your home against the cold by closing curtains and blinds when the sun goes down.
- Allow the sun to work for you to warm your house by opening curtains and blinds in the morning.
- Close the vents in rooms that are unused or rarely used.
- Make sure that you don’t have any furniture blocking your vents causing you to get less warmth in a room that you do use.
- If you have a ceiling fan in the room that you are spending time in, turn it on to the lowest setting. Hot air rises and the fan will help circulate the heat back down allowing you to keep the thermostat set lower.
- Neglecting to close your fireplace hamper can result in your hot air rising right out of your chimney at an alarming rate. Make sure to close your fireplace hamper when not in use (and open it when you have a fire going.)
I hope these eco-friendly habits help you stay warm and healthy this winter. All of these green tips are simple changes that can save you a lot of money on your heating and conserve energy at the same time. Is there anything that you would add to this list of how to winterize your home? Do you have any questions about how to conserve heat energy at home? Let us know @familyfocusblog!