It appears that winter has finally decided to show up in North Texas and show up in a big way! Considering that we were just in shorts two days ago, I am going to assume that you are as unprepared for this cold weather as I am. Despite what the calendar says, my body is in a bit of a shock and I think it's safe to say that your home may be as well. So, let me interrupt your plans to ride out the rest of this year in a food coma/Netflix binge if I may and possibly help save your home and your wallet some stress.
1. Change Out Your Air Filters
This is perhaps the easiest of steps because technically you should be changing your air filter out once a month anyways. (If this comes as a shock, quick change those puppies out...I won't tell.) Perhaps you haven't had to use your heating and air conditioner recently so once that heat kicks in, any build up will restrict air flow and make your heater have to work harder than it needs to. This will not only cost you more but could put unnecessary stress on your heater.
2. Use Those Ceiling Fans All Year
Here is another super easy thing that you can do that can save you as much as 10% on your heating! Simply run your ceiling fans in reverse by clicking the switch at the base of the fan. Running it on low in a clockwise motion will draw the cold air up towards the ceiling and push the warm air out.
3. Use Your Programmable Thermostat
I'm well aware that it may be easier to convert your recyclables into a new efficient heat source than to program your thermostat....no? Just me? Well, for you show-offs out there, lowering your thermostat as little as one degree can help you save upwards of 3% on your energy costs. This I hear is an easy task and should be utilized to lower your heat when you aren't home to maximize those energy savings or if, like me you prefer sleeping in arctic like temperatures.
4. Check Your Caulking and Weather Stripping
Over time, small cracks and gaps can appear in your doors and windows and those spaces can allow cold air to come in that can really put a damper on your energy bill. As much as an additional 10-15% could fly out of your wallet as the cold air pours in. Both caulking and weather stripping are inexpensive remedies to a potentially costly problem.
5. Pull Out Your Humidifier
If you're a parent like me, your humidifier is probably running for one or more of your kiddos this time of year as sickness is more common in these months than we'd like it to be. But did you know that a humidifier can actually be a great energy saving tool in the winter months? Winter air tends to be very dry. Utilizing a humidifier helps to keep the air moist which also holds heat better. So not only will you help keep old winter problems like dry skin at bay, you will effectively lower your energy costs. I call that a win-win!
So, there you have it! 5 really easy tips that can help to cut down on your energy costs and effectively winterize your home. If you liked these tips, be sure to check back Tuesdays for more easy tips.