The cost of heating and cooling accounts for 42% of energy use in a typical home in the United States, and it’s usually the single largest household expense. For those using gas or fuel oil for heating, the cost is compounded by seasonal shifts in pricing.
Considering these cold, hard facts, it often makes sense to invest in making your home as energy-efficient as possible. Making improvements to save money on winter heating bills doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are even some steps you can put in place yourself.
Here are six ideas to consider in cutting back on heating costs this winter:
Seal the Gaps
In efforts to cut heating costs, seal gaps where warm air can escape from the home and cold air can infiltrate from the outside. Caulking around windows and doors is a good first step. But remember to look for and replace worn weather stripping as well.
When resealing their homes, homeowners tend to overlook heating ducts in basements and attics and areas around electrical and lighting fixtures. These small gaps may not seem like much. But the heat loss they allow adds up.
Check Your Insulation
Many types of insulation can break down with time and develop gaps that allow heat to escape your home. Many older forms of insulation are not as efficient as newer types.
Check your home for areas where your insulation may have come lose or settled and become thin. These are often found along the eaves in attics and in crawl spaces.
Even if you find no deficiencies, consider adding an extra layer and covering areas that may not be so obvious. You can now buy pre-fitted insulation blankets to cover most standard attic access doors. Insulating your pipes will not only help you avoid costly repairs, but it can help lower the load on your hot water heater. Read More