The heating season will soon be upon us and energy costs that have been rising all summer are expected to continue to go up. That means winter heating costs for homeowners here in the Northeast are also going up. Some utility companies have already started to raise their rates. In a previous article we gave you some suggestions to help you save on home energy use.
Here are some additional tips for saving energy this winter:
Replace Incandescent with Fluorescent
Buy energy saving fluorescent bulbs to replace existing incandescent bulbs in your utility room, basement, workroom, home office, or garage. For example, a Philips Earthlight 20-watt bulb (the equivalent of a 70-watts incandescent bulb) burning 3-4 hours a day, will last 10,000 hours and up to 7 years saving $55 on your energy costs.
Caulk Windows & Doors
Any small leak will let the cold air in and your warm air out. Check around all your windows as well as exterior doors, and caulk any suspect joint or edges.
Clean Vents & Radiators
A build up of dirt and dust over time can block the flow of warm air from your furnace. Coats of paint can also reduce the size of the openings. Remove vent covers and clean them. It maybe a good time to see if the ducts need a professional cleaning.
Insulate Electric Hot Water Heater
If you have an electric water heater, add a blanket of insulation. Frost King makes a product that comes in a “duffel bag.” Just unwrap it, surround your water heater, and tape it in place. They’re available in two different thickness’ costing less than $15.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
Insulation for hot water pipes is 3/8″ thick and comes in 4′ and 6′ lengths. Covering your hot water pipes can effectively prevent excess heat from escaping.
Change furnace filters
Dirty furnace filters mean your furnace has to work harder to provide you with the warmth you want. Most filters don’t cost much more than a few dollars so change the filter every month and your furnace will operation more efficiently.
Install Motion Sensors
With more hours of darkness, you will be turning on your home’s exterior lights more often and for longer periods of time. Installing a motion sensor so that the lights come on only when someone triggers them will mean less wasted energy.
Add Window Wraps
To cut down the cold air coming through a window, cover it on the inside with clear plastic film. Simply stretch the film onto the sticky tape around the window and use a blow dryer to shrink the plastic taught.
While not one of these tips on its own is particularly earth shattering, put them all together and they should help you save some of your precious energy costs.