The cold winter months are fast approaching. We can’t wait to once again play with the snow, toast marshmallows, and hibernate inside our warm and toasty homes. But before one can enjoy a great winter season, we need to make sure the house is well and ready for the cold.
Our heating systems have to work overtime to keep us feeling warm and comfortable all winter long. One may not mind the costs of running the heating system 24/7. But since doing so also meant wasting energy, it only makes sense that we do more than simply cutting back energy usage in winter.
By doing the necessary home maintenance and improvement projects, we can make our homes more energy-efficient. Knowing what to do will also make it easier to conserve energy this winter season.
Prep Your Fireplace
Fireplaces make great additions to any home. We can’t get enough of our fireplaces during winter. Since this provides additional heat inside our living space, it only makes sense that we prepare this area long before winter to ensure its efficiency before the cold season arrives.
For one, investing in reliable inserts for your fireplace can help keep your costs down while reducing your energy usage. You might miss the smell of burning wood in winter. But you can still enjoy hearing that crackle and sizzle you have come to love while you sit close to the fireplace.
Get the pros to clean and inspect all of your chimneys. Set an appointment before winter comes. This way, the experts can see if your chimney requires sweeping, has damages, or requires repair.
For those that are not always using their fireplace, consider investing in fireplace covers, screens, or doors. These are more than just decorative pieces that can match your interior. These can actually help in stopping air leakage, thus reducing the need for your HVAC system to work overtime to keep the house warm.
It also makes sense that you close your fireplace damper when you are not using this. This stops air leakage in its path, keeping the warm air indoors. You can also invest in damper seals to close the fireplace that you don’t use.
Say Yes to a Programmable Thermostat
Are you still using an old thermostat that requires you to manually adjust your indoor temperature? Then it is about time you make a programmable thermostat investment. This way, you can enjoy both energy savings and convenience this winter.
Programmable thermostats ensure you get to enjoy a comfortable indoor temperature while you stay at home. This is the perfect choice if you have a set schedule where you stay outdoors for certain periods of time. Your programmable thermostat will ensure you will come home to a warm and comfortable house once you arrive home for work.
Just make sure to program your new thermostat to your preferred temperature beforehand. Set it to low during your waking hours and turn it up a notch while you stay outdoors or as you sleep. This helps drastically reduce your energy usage, thus boosting your energy savings.
Add Additional Home Insulation
The best thing about home insulation is that there are cheap but effective ways to do this. You don’t necessarily need to do major renovations to have better insulation. Consider the following insulation tips for savvy homeowners.
- Use weatherproofing to cover air leaks.
- Make use of blackout curtains.
- Cover your floors with carpets or rugs.
- Use spray foam insulation in your roof, in between walls, and floors.
- Use radiant barriers or foil sheets to reflect hear in your attic.
- Double glaze your windows.
- Insulate your old water heater by covering the pipes.
Invest in the Right Lights and Appliances
Since winter demands we spend most of our time indoors, this is the perfect time to rethink your appliances. You may plan on cooking and baking more often during winter. Or maybe you only want to binge-watch every time you have extra time for leisure.
Before investing in any appliance, be sure to read the labels. Choose Energy Star certified appliances to ensure energy efficiency. Your energy bill will thank you for making the right choice.
Don’t forget about your lighting choices. You could be stocking extra light bulbs in case one of your lights retires during winter. Or you could be looking for new Christmas lights to decorate the house for the holidays.
When it comes to your lighting needs, go for energy-efficient lighting solutions. Think of LEDs and CFLs. Your investment will come a long way since these will last longer and won’t consume as much energy as your ordinary lights.
Your home is your sanctuary, especially in winter. It only becomes a must that you find ways to ensure your family is comfortable during winter. By investing in the right projects, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency and ensure your family’s comfort during the cold winter months.
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