A guest post for Samantha Grose (Optima Homes, JP&CO) by Seth Murphy
Seth Murphy started PapaDIY to share tips and advice on DIY and help others. His mission is to make DIY something that anybody can feel comfortable with.
Winterizing your home may sound like a process that can only cost money, and probably lots of it. But the fact is that a few strategic winterization steps can actually save you money this winter by cutting down on your home heating costs. Here’s how to save money instead of spending money by winterizing your home.
Use Weather Stripping Around Windows and Doors
Your basement and attic aren’t the only areas of your home that may have drafts that allow your warm air to escape, driving up your heating costs. A simple step such as weather-stripping your doors and windows can seal small cracks and prevent drafts that cool down your home and make it more difficult to keep your home warm in the winter.
Insulate Pipes and Ducts
Some added insulation around pipes and ducts in your basement that lead from your furnace or boiler and your hot water heater will allow air and water traveling through to stay warmer, reducing the energy costs to heat water and provide heat for your home.
Locate and Seal Air Leaks in Your Attic and Basement
Air leaks aren’t always obvious, but if your attic or basement has undetected drafts, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars or more on heating costs. This guide from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) gives you tips for inspecting your home for air leaks. If your home is older, it may be best to hire a professional to help you find problem areas and give you advice on how to resolve them.
Tune-Up Your Heating System
An annual heating system tune-up by an HVAC professional might seem unnecessary, but can actually dramatically increase the efficiency of your home heating system. During these inspections, an HVAC technician will clean your furnace and replace your filters, two steps that alone can save you substantial money while heating your home this winter.
Use a Set-Back (Programmable) Thermostat
A set-back thermostat is a thermostat on a timer, allowing you to automatically lower the temperature during the day while you’re at work or at night while you’re sleeping (You’ll get better quality sleep in slightly cooler temperatures anyway). These thermometers can actually reduce your home heating costs by 20% to 75%.
Invest in (or Make) a Few Door Sweeps
You’d be surprised how much warm air escapes through those seemingly small gaps at the bottom of your doors. This is a problem that’s adding to your home heating costs but is easily and affordably fixed. You can purchase door sweeps for anywhere from $10 to $50 or more, or you could roll up an old towel for the same effect (for free!) Door sweeps block the gaps at the bottom of your doors to keep the warm air in, cold air out, and your heating costs down.
Flip Your Ceiling Fans
This doesn’t mean that you should actually flip your ceiling fans upside down, but that you should reverse their direction. Most have a simple switch that changes the direction of rotation. This simple, free step will help to keep warm air circulating down into the room where it can keep you cozy and warm while cutting your heating costs by up to 10%.
If you’re determined to save money on heating costs this winter, winterizing your home is the way to go. Try these simple tricks to stretch your dollars this winter. The more winterizing steps you take, the lower your home heating costs will be. How much will YOU save this winter?
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Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.