Are you getting settled into your new home but feeling winter’s chill? Staying warm is key to enjoying your new home this season but heating is one of the biggest drains you’ll have on power – and your budget – for the next few months. This is a great time for some quick fixes to help reduce your home’s energy use. You don’t need to be an expert handyperson to make some small changes and these quick DIY projects will pay off big time when it comes to saving on heating bills.
Keep your furnace in tip top shape
Ensure your furnace is in peak condition and it will need less power – and be safer. Clean or replace filters every month. Dirty filters reduce airflow which makes your furnace work harder, and use more energy, to heat the home. Paper filters should be replaced and permanent filters should be carefully vacuumed or washed (a washed filter should get 24 hours of drying time before being re-inserted).
Let your thermostat know it’s winter
You can save 2% on your heating bill for every degree Celsius you lower your home’s temperature. That can add up to hundreds of dollars each year.
- Install a programmable thermostat with at least four daily time changes to fit your family’s schedule.
- Turn the temperature down four to five degrees Celsius before you head to bed or during the day if nobody is home.
- Dress for the climate – socks and a light sweater will keep you toasty and let you lower the thermostat a few energy-saving degrees.
- Check to see that the last resident of your new home didn’t leave the heating cranked on high in the garage or other less-used areas of the house.
Keep the cold out
Become a draft detective and find and fix the spots where winter sneaks into your home.
- Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to apply. Use it on doors that open to the outside, the garage and the attic.
- Find drafts by walking around the house with an incense stick on a day when the wind is howling outside. Make a note of drafty spots for future caulking and insulating.
- A plastic window cover kit and a hair dryer is an inexpensive way to take care of leaky windows until you’re ready to replace them.
- Thermal curtains help to keep the house warm in the winter (and cool in the summer).
Once your home is winter ready, check out these tips for keeping your home healthy all year round.