Make Sure Your House Is Airtight
If you have weatherstripping around your doors that has worn out, you could be wasting a tremendous amount of energy. In fact, as much as 10 to 15% of the total amount that you spend on heating during the winter could be escaping around your doors. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Here is a quick how-to guide to get you started:
Begin by checking around your doors, looking for areas where the weather-stripping has worn away or where air may be escaping. Replace any old weather-stripping as needed. Use caulk to seal any other openings where heat may be getting out. By the time you are done, the entire area should be thoroughly sealed.
Seal Around Plumbing Pipes And Electrical Wires
www.simplyswitch.com suggest you check areas where plumbing pipes or electrical wires enter your home. Oftentimes, there are holes cut into the outside of your building that can allow heated air to escape. Sealing these holes can help prevent this heat loss, resulting in substantial energy savings.
Insulate Your Wall Outlets
A lot of heat may be escaping from the areas around your wall outlets, which tend to be poorly insulated. You can remedy this problem by purchasing foam gaskets that are specifically designed for use in electrical outlets. You can find these at any home improvement store. This simple step can make a big difference in the energy efficiency of your home.
Shut Your Fireplace Damper
When you aren’t using your fireplace, be sure to close the damper. Otherwise, the heat from your house could be escaping straight up your chimney. In fact, because of the way the chimney is designed, it has a tendency to draw heated air out of your house, pulling it up and out of your home. This, in turn, can create drafts that make it practically impossible to heat your space. Closing the damper is a simple way to correct this problem.
Check Your Air Ducts For Leaks
If you have leaky air ducts, you could be paying for heat that never makes it inside your home. Examine the areas of your ductwork that you can see, checking for leaks. You may even want to consider bringing in an outside expert to check your ducts for leaks, making any repairs as necessary. The California Energy Commission found that homeowners who sealed leaky air ducts could save as much as 10% on their heating bills.
Drop The Temperature On Your Thermostat
Most homeowners keep their thermostat set somewhere between 60 and 70°. Within this range, you can save up to 5% on your heating bills for each degree that you lower the temperature. For instance, if you currently have your thermostat set at 68°, you could cut your energy bills by 5% by dropping it to 67°, and so on. If no one is home during the day, set the temperature even lower. Likewise, consider dropping the temperature as low as possible while you sleep to save even more money. Some people even set their thermostats as low as 55° at night. You can use a programmable thermostat to automatically manage all of these temperature changes for you.
Maintain Your Furnace Filter
A dirty filter on your furnace can significantly reduce its energy efficiency. Regularly clean or replace your filter. Additionally, have your furnace serviced each year to make sure that it is running the way that it should.
Lower Your Water Heater’s Temperature Setting
As long as there is nothing in your owner’s manual stipulating that it requires a higher temperature, you should be able to lower the temperature of the water in your hot water heater to 120°. This can save a significant amount of money on the cost of heating water for your home.
Take Shorter Showers
Cutting a couple of minutes off of your shower time can dramatically reduce your water usage. This, in turn, can reduce the amount of money that it takes to heat your water.