With winter officially upon us, here are a few simple steps you can take to save on home energy costs, courtesy of Popular Mechanics (Actually, they have 19 steps, but we narrowed it down to a Best 5).
Dodge the Draft
This was something your parents and even grandparents likely did. We reintroduce to you … the draft snake. Place a rolled bath towel under a drafty door or make a snake-like object out of fabric and fill it with sand or something similar.
Drafts can waste 5 to 30% of your energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Changing air filters
Which would you rather replace: Your entire furnace or the furnace filters? If that’s a “no duh” answer, then set a reminder every month during the heating season to change your filters. Dirty filters pump out less airflow and make your furnace work harder.
Reverse (Fan) Psychology
Those ceiling fans in your house are not just a cooling mechanism. Most newer units come with a switch that changes the direction of the blades.
Fun fact from Popular Mechanics: Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes, while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. This pools air near the ceiling and circulates it back into the living space.
Play the Thermostat Game
This may be another “no duh” step, but it’s often overlooked. Think about this: You save anywhere from 1 to 3 percent on your heating bill by dropping the thermostat a degree in your house. So, when you leave for the day or if you don’t mind a cooler sleeping experience, make a point of dropping the temp.
Too much to manage? Try a programmable thermostat.
Utilize Uncle Sam
While your most expensive option, replacing old, drafty windows will likely save you the most money in the long run. Plus, there are substantial tax credits for homeowners who want to upgrade to more energy-efficient windows.
And here’s a link to the 14 additional methods to save money and to winter-proof your home. Stay warm!
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