Keeping your house warm in the winter may be challenging, not just because of the temperature outside, but because your home may be losing heat. There are several steps you can take to keep your house warm and to save money. Many of these home improvements are relatively inexpensive but can lead to substantial savings.
Seal Air Leaks
Small cracks and holes around windows and doors can allow warm air to escape and let cold air in. Caulk, weatherstripping and spray foam can be used to seal gaps. You can buy those products inexpensively at any home improvement store and install them yourself to eliminate air leaks.
Significant amounts of heat can be lost from the areas around electrical outlets. If those places feel cool, you can purchase covers that can be installed behind the plates to prevent heat loss.
Air leaking through heating ducts can lead to high energy bills. Have your ducts inspected by a professional and sealed if necessary.
During the winter, heat from your house will flow into unheated areas, such as the attic, garage, basement and crawlspace. Insulation can prevent the transfer of heat and keep the living spaces warm.
Since homebuilders often install only enough insulation to satisfy minimum code requirements, many houses are under-insulated. Insufficient insulation in the attic is a common source of high heating bills. Attic insulation can deteriorate and may have to be replaced to prevent heat loss. You can use insulated covers for your attic doors and staircase. The crawlspace, basement and garage may also benefit from more insulation.
Replacing your doors and windows with more energy-efficient ones can lower your utility bills. Your home’s garage and exterior doors may not be insulated and the insulation in windows can wear out over time. If you can’t afford to install new windows, you can use insulated drapes to keep warm out in and cold air out.
Have Your HVAC System Inspected and Serviced
Schedule annual HVAC inspections so your system can operate efficiently and so any problems can be detected and taken care of before they get worse. If your furnace is old and worn out, a new, more energy-efficient one can keep your home warm in the winter and lower your bills.
Control the Temperature
A programmable thermostat can help you reduce your energy usage and heating bills. It can allow you to adjust the temperature in the house based on your family’s needs and schedule. For example, you will be able to automatically lower the temperature when the house will be unoccupied and raise it shortly before people return to avoid wasting energy.
Stay Warm and Save Money
Keeping your home warm in the winter shouldn’t cost a fortune. If your heating bills are high, it could be because your home is losing warm air and/or letting cold air in. With some simple and often inexpensive home improvements, you can lower your bills.