Winter is upon us and it’s time to think about the heating bill. Heating and cooling account for 56% of the energy used in a typical American home, as reported by the Department of Energy. But there are ways to save on winter heating bills and to be more careful as the winter sets in. Certainly, companies like IDT Energy and others want you to conserve your energy and to use it smartly this winter. Here are five tips for doing so.
1. Believe it or not, the worn weather stripping around your doors and windows could be costing you in your heating bills. These worn and torn areas let in drafts and cold air. Somewhere close to 10% of heat loss in a home occurs due to window and doors. Make sure your weather stripping isn’t worn out or torn.
2. There are other key areas where drafts can enter. These include under the front door and around electrical outlets. If you can see the daylight under your front door, then you’re losing air there. The door should be in contact with the threshold. If you see a bit of light in the corners, it’s alright, but you don’t want much. Your electrical boxes on exterior walls can also be creating drafts. Insulation isn’t always placed correctly behind and around them. You can solve this problem by removing the cover plates and filling small gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex and caulk. Use foam sealant if you have large gaps.
3. Adjust the temperature during the day. If you’re home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable for you. When you’re sleeping or out of the house, turn it back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. This will save you a great deal during the year. As companies like IDT Energy can explain, a programmable thermostat will help you to keep the temperatures monitored without any effort.
4. If you have a fireplace, there are key things you should be doing. First, keep the fireplace damper closed if you don’t have a fire burning. This is a huge place that air can escape. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox or even open a window nearby slightly, about 1 inch. Close doors leading into the room. Check your seal on the fireplace flue damper and make sure it’s tight.
5. Your attic is another place that you might be losing heat and spending too much. Check your attic access door to see if it’s warped or if it won’t lie flat. This is a place that air could be leaking out. You may want to use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door.
With these five tips, you should be able to head into winter with lower heating bills and with a home that is well sealed and insulated. No matter which energy company you use, whether it’s IDT Energy or another one, there are always ways to save a bit extra this winter with these key tips.