8 Simple Winter Home Improvements to Save Money and Energy

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 01 Feb, 2017
In Iowa we have almost two full months left of winter (and sometimes the cold days extend even further). Those two months, historically, are often some of the coldest months we experience during the winter, resulting in higher heating bills. But there are ways to offset the higher expense with simple home improvements to save […] The post 8 Simple Winter Home Improvements to Save Money and Energy appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
In Iowa we have almost two full months left of winter (and sometimes the cold days extend even further). Those two months, historically, are often some of the coldest months we experience during the winter, resulting in higher heating bills. But there are ways to offset the higher expense with simple home improvements to save money and energy.
  1. Clean your furnace filter once a month during the winter, or purchase a permanent filter.
  2. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to push warm air down.
  3. Keep curtains on the south side of your home open during the day to allow sunlight in; this will require your furnace to run less often.
  4. Cover windows and sliding doors with plastic film insulation. It’s inexpensive, easy to apply, barely noticeable and you simply remove it when spring hits.
  5. Turn down the heat at night or when you are not home. Programmable thermostats make this even easier; just set it and forget it. Smart home type thermostats take it even further by learning your habits and how your home operates to figure out how to adjust the heat based on a variety of factors including outside weather conditions.
  6. Conduct a “air leak” test. Light a stick of incense and carry it with you throughout the house, holding it near windows, doors, around vents and electrical outlets, as well as other areas air could be escaping. If the smoke blows back into the house or is sucked out of the house, it indicates a leak. Caulk or use weatherstripping around these areas to cover the holes. Electrical outlets are often sources of heat loss, yet you can seal them easily with an electrical outlet insulation kit.
  7. Turn down your hot water heater thermostat. Most water heaters are automatically set too high. The Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10 degrees you turn it down you save 3-5% on your energy costs.
  8. If you have an older water heater insulate it with a water heater insulating blanket to reduce heat loss.

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