Simple Ways to Save Money in the Winter Around Your Home

save money in the winter around your homeHeating bills can break the bank during cold winter months. According to the Earthworks Group, the average US home has leaks equal to a nine foot hole in an outside wall! Here are 13 ways to cut down on home expenses that cost little or nothing:

  • Drain and hang up all hoses and sprinklers. Put an insulated cover over outside faucets, which will prevent frozen pipes.
  • Wrap exposed pipes under counters close to an outside wall or in the basement. There are foam sleeves in your hardware store made for this. You’re preventing frozen pipes, and wasted heating costs for an exposed pipe with hot water in a cool basement.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. Counterclockwise = cooling, while clockwise = warmer. Warm air at the ceiling blows back into the room, saving you as much as 10% in heating costs.
  • Layer up the clothing. More clothes = money saved. Warm sweaters, slippers and insulated underwear will keep you warm and save you money. Add an afghan or blanket for additional savings.
  • Look for air leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc. A few dollars spent in caulking and weather-stripping equals big savings in heating. The US Dept. of Energy states minor leaks can result in 5-30 percent heat losses in a year.
  • Latch and lock all windows. You’re safer from burglars and the windows are sealed.
  • For stubborn windows and patio doors, use window film kits to block any air flow.
  • Turn the temp down when you leave the house. Make it a habit- hang your car keys by the thermostat as a reminder. Why spend money for heat when you’re not there?
  • Is your heating vent blocked by a sofa? You’re spending money to keep it warm, but not the room. Buy a vent heat diverter to send that warm air into the room.
  • Clean your chimney and woodstove in the fall and keep the flue closed when not in use. Otherwise, you’re paying for heat that you’re sending outside.
  • Have your furnace serviced. Make sure it’s running properly to get the best bang for your buck. Change your furnace filter every 2-3 months.
  • Need more attic insulation? Take a peek- a good rule of thumb is if you can see your attic joists (about 10-11 inches high), you need more insulation. You want a minimum of 12 inches to prevent heat loss.
  • Inspect your duct work where there are seams. If the tape is old or torn, replace it with new metal tape. Otherwise, your heat is blowing out in the wrong places.