For those of us living in the Midwest, our winters can be brutally cold which can mean high energy bills. To make sure that you’re as efficient as you can be and save you some money, here’s 7 affordable winterizing tips to help keep your heating bills low:
- Insulate your hot water heater. Most hardware stores stock water heater blankets to help keep your hot water hot. The R-value (the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow) of the blanket should be R-11 or better.
- Check weather stripping around doors. This is one of the cheapest fixes but can have a big impact. If light is coming through your door to the outside, you need new weatherstripping.
- Change your air filter. Air filters are usually good for around 3 months. Dirty filters will make your furnace work harder and can cause breakdowns.
- Close the flue on your fireplace. If you don’t have a fire going, make sure and close the flue to keep out cold air. Installing a glass door around the opening can block cold air even more.
- Add heavy drapes. Windows lose more heat per square foot of area in the winter than any other surface in the home. Adding heavy drapes in front of large picture windows can block cold air from coming into the house.
- Keep your thermostat low in the evening. It’s a lot cheaper to add a blanket or two than to keep your thermostat a couple of degrees warmer. According to EnergyHub, your heating bill gets raised 3% per month for every degree you increase your thermostat.
- Insulate exposed pipes. Check for pipes in your basement that carry hot water and insulate them with polyethylene or neoprene foam. Doing this can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter according to energy.gov.
Implementing even a couple of these tips can make a difference in your heating bill, with minimal cost. And who doesn’t like to save a little money?