‘Tis the season to crank your thermostat. Unfortunately, it could cost even more than normal. Americans will pay 15% more for heating expenses than last year, according to the EIA.
At this point you’ve got no excuse not to follow this simple guide for winterizing your home.
Dodge the draft
Problem: Cold air is rushing in from underneath your door, and warm air is rushing out.
Solution: The draft snake, adopted during the Great Depression era, is one of the easiest ways to cut back on energy waste. A draft snake can be easily made by rolling up a towel or filling up a pouch of fabric with kitty litter or sand, advises The Daily Green. Or you can buy one pre-made.
Money/Energy Saved: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30% of energy use per year.
Bubble wrap your windows
Problem: You suspect your windows are as old as your grandparents and cold air is leaking through the cracks.
Solution: Tape bubblewrap on your windows to trap the pockets of air that cool down your home. Although it may look funny, the bubblewrap will still allow light to come through and you’ll be saving some major dough, advises Life Hacker.
Money/Energy Saved: Taping up bubblewrap can avoid drafts which waste 5 to 30% of energy usage per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Change the direction of your ceiling fans
Problem: The air in your home feels hot and trapped, but turning on a fan only produces cool air.
Solution: If you have any ceiling fans inside your home, know the rules: Counter-clockwise rotation produces cooling breezes and clockwise rotation produces warmer air.
Money/Energy Saved: This method will cut your heating costs by 10%, according to The Daily Green.
Install storm doors
Problem: The cracks in your door are increasing the air flow in and out of your home, letting warm air out and cold air in.
Solution: Installing a storm door can seal those drafts and help reduce air flow.
Money/Energy Saved: A storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%, according to The Daily Green.
Control your thermostat
Problem: You want your home warm so you keep the thermostat high, but your wallet is suffering from the high energy bill.
Solution: Set your thermostat to 50 or 55 degrees when you go to bed and work. You won’t enjoy the warmer temperature while you’re asleep or away from the house, anyway. You can also purchase a programmable thermostat.
Money/Energy Saved: Turning down your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save 10% per year on your energy bill, according to Brighter Planet.