Even during the winter, you can slash your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. Who wouldn’t want to do that?! These tips can cut your heating bill by 20% or more, and none takes more than 30 minutes to complete. Plus, the materials are mostly inexpensive to buy and install, so you’ll see a quick return on your investment.
- Replace Worn Weather-stripping
Worn and torn weather-stripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air.
Some weather-stripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.
- Adjust Door Thresholds
If you can see daylight under your front door, then you’re losing the indoor air you’ve paid to heat.
- Eliminate Drafts around electrical boxes
Electrical boxes in your exterior walls are notoriously drafty because insulation isn’t always placed behind and around them correctly, try to stop air from flowing around the box and through the box.
- Plug holes in exterior walls
Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects.
- Buy a Portable Heater (and Turn Down the Furnace)
Put a space heater in the place where your family gathers, like the living room, and turn down the furnace temperature.
- Cover Windows and Patio Doors with Plastic Film
Windows account for 25% of heat loss in homes. Covering the windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film can reduce that loss. “Just by using that plastic, you’re going to save about 14% on your heating bill.
- Keep warm air from escaping up the chimney
The downside to fireplaces is that when they’re not in use, your warm indoor air is escaping through chimney. Even when the chimney flue is closed, some warm air is probably still getting away. An easy solution is to block the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon. The balloons are available on amazon.com and other retailers to fit various chimney sizes. They cost about $50. “They can save you up to $100 a year, so they’re going to pay for themselves twice a year.
- Insulate the Attic Access door
You want to make sure the door is insulated, and you want to make sure it forms a good seal.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
Prices for these thermostats have dropped over the last few years—you can now pick one up for about $25. They save you money by letting you tell the thermostat to keep the temperature low during the day when no one is home and at night when everyone is sleeping, but higher at the times when you want it.