Save on energy this winter
Updated: Aug 26, 2022
How to save energy this winter
Heating your home is the primary use of energy in winter months but can also give greater opportunity to save money on energy. During the winter months we spend a lot more time in our homes. In turn this means needing the heat on, as well as using more electricity. We came up with some tips that all of us can use to save on energy, be more energy efficient and conscious of the carbon footprint we leave behind.
Keeping the heat in
Doors and windows are always a trouble spot for letting out warmth and bringing in the cold draft during the winter months. Thankfully these are easily fixed by using weather stripping around the window and doors as well as using door sweeps to keep the draft from coming in under the door. Also making sure you are using energy efficient windows will help with energy savings. Double pane windows or triple pane help insulate your windows to keep the cold at bay. Working with a professional handyman to install your windows will help save you time and money as they work with several contractors and will make sure that the job is done properly.
Attic insulation and basement foundation are another problem area for saving on energy. If your attic is not properly insulated you are allowing heat to escape leaving your home colder and needing more heat. Insulation is rated by its R value. The higher the R value the better it is at keeping you warm. There are different levels needed in different areas of Michigan so check with a local hardware shop or hire a contractor to ensure you have the best insulation for your home. Basement foundations can have small leaks or cracks that will allow cool air in and heat out. Walk the perimeter of the walls and look for any small cracks or holes. These can be sealed using caulk or specific putty for basements. Having proper insulation in your home is a huge step toward energy savings!
A couple more tips to keep you warmer without costing you energy. When the sun is out keep your drapes or blinds open and allow the sun to warm your home naturally and close the blinds at sunset to keep warm air in. Use a smart thermostat that automatically goes down at night while you sleep and up during the day while you are home. You can also set it lower if you are at work and have it only heat up during the times you are in the house. Keep blankets nearby and get cozy. Make sure all your heat vents are accessible and are not blocked. Close your damper on your fireplace when not in use. And finally use rugs on hardwood floors to help keep floors warmer.
Being energy efficient
When you hear energy efficiency most people think of smart hubs or appliances, which are a large portion of how to be energy efficient. However there are other areas to consider as well. Keeping up on maintenance for your furnace yearly will save energy and save you a headache later. Having clean filters helps your furnace work less to heat your home and will also help with allergens in your home. Regular check ups will keep your furnace running smoothly and prevent problems down the road. We recommend having the furnace checked in early fall so if a problem does arise it can be addressed before the cold kicks in.
Also, if you have rooms that are only used for guests keep the vent closed and the door closed. That will help keep the heat going to the rooms in use and any drafts from unused rooms out. Adjusting your water heater thermostat to a lower temperature can also save energy. Keeping it set at 120 degrees should provide plenty of hot water without the need to continuously heat gallons of water. You can also wrap your water heater in winter months with an insulated blanket that will keep the heat in the tank. Insulating pipes will also help save energy and keep from getting frozen pipes in winter months. This also will keep pipes warmer so warm water will travel sooner and the shower will be ready quicker. Final thought, most of us use our ovens a lot more in the winter. Once you are done cooking and have turned the oven off, most of us close the oven and go about our dinner. However, the oven will release heat for a while so why not use that heat to keep you cozy without having to use any energy. Keep the oven door ajar while having dinner and enjoy the extra warmth.
There are 100 different ways to save energy and be energy efficient in your home. We shared some of the key areas with you. With a few simple changes you can save yourself time and money on energy. Whether it's insulation, window repair and updates or updating your home to a smart home, we are here to help. Call us today.