Are you looking for inexpensive ways to save money on energy bills this winter? Now is a great time to tackle these home projects and each of them is very affordable.
1. Add weather stripping to your doors and windows. Keeping warm air from escaping and drafts from blowing in can make a 5% to 10% difference in your energy use.
2. Seal exposed ductwork in attics and basements. Check for gaps in seams and joints, holes, or other places where warm air can escape. Use high quality mastic, rather then silver or duct tape that won’t hold as well or be efficient. Experts say that as much as 20% of warm air can escape through leaky ducts, so this is a great way to save money!
3. Put an insulation blanket on your water heater. The water tank warms up 30 or 40 gallons of water and then it starts to cool off, wasting money. An insulating blanket will slow down the heat loss substantially.
4. Program your thermostat so that the system runs less when you are nott there. Let the temperature fall 10 degrees or so when the house is empty, and you can program it to warm back up before you get home
5. Run full loads of laundry instead of several small loads. You’ll reduce your water use and your overall electrical use.
6. Add insulation to the attic. In winter, heated air escapes through the ceiling into the attic and out of the house. In summer, the attic gets hot and that air pushes down into the house, causing the air conditioner to work harder. A layer of insulation (minimum R19) in the attic will help year-round.
7. Have your furnace or heat pump cleaned and tuned up for winter. A dirty furnace or heat pump coil can waste 20% or more of the energy it uses. Having your entire HVAC system serviced before winter is a cost that might pay you back very quickly.
These are very good ways to reduce energy use on a limited budget. They are easy to accomplish and you will notice immediate results — lower energy bills every month going forward!