Baby, it's cold outside... and that can be tough on the wallet! The average American spends between $1,000 and $1,500 for heating expenses during the winter months—October through March. Of course, this varies based on location, year, and the specifics of the home.
If you’re dreading those bills, you may be wondering how you can make sure your home is energy efficient during the winter months. Here are a few tips you can implement to save money, while still staying warm this winter.
- Floors. Keep hardwood or tile floors warmer by placing area rugs to add a layer of insulation.
- Furnace. Make sure you change your furnace filters monthly during the winter months. A dirty filter means your furnace is working harder than it needs to, to heat your house. You may also consider a new furnace if yours is over 10 years old.
- Windows. Windows are notorious for letting warm air seep out. Options run from replacing old windows with energy-efficient windows to adding window insulation film. Another great option is to replace flowing, lightweight, summer curtains with thicker, quilted curtains to keep warm air in.
- Doors. Just like windows, doors can let warm air out and can be easily fixed. Replacing weather stripping is the first step, and draft guards are other inexpensive options. Depending on how cold it gets, storm doors may be something to consider as well.
- Gas Heater. Again, proper maintenance of your appliances is key. Beyond not working efficiently if not maintained, it can also release dangerous poisons into your house. Ideally, a professional would come by and check once a year, but you can also check for and vacuum up dirt, dust, and any lint.
- Insulation. Your attic should be fully insulated, as it’s the most important area of your home when it comes to retaining heat. Installing insulation is a lot of messy, hard work, which usually means hiring someone. You can do it on your own, but make sure you follow all the manufacturer recommendations and are careful on any ladders or stairs.
If you’re not sure what else you can do to keep your electric bill down, contact your local energy company. Many utility companies will come to perform a free energy audit in your home to help you identify areas that may be driving your energy costs up. Being energy efficient is good not only for your wallet but for the environment as well. Make some changes today!