My job requires me to visit a lot of different homes on a weekly basis. During these trips, I see a lot of home energy problems that could be quickly and inexpensively corrected. With the ever increasing costs of home heating it is important for people to take steps to reduce energy consumption to help balance their budget or simply to save a few bucks to spend on enjoying life. Here is a brief guide to some low cost winter energy savings tips that a homeowner can use to save money and reduce energy usage.
Shut the Door
It is amazing how many people neglect to fully close doors and windows during the winter. With a door open and the furnace running, a homeowner can sit and quietly listen to money being blown out the opening. When the cold weather arrives, check to make certain that all windows are fully closed and that doors are in good working condition. Keep an eye on these doors and keep them shut securely to keep the warm air inside and your money in your pocket.
Cover Single Pane Windows
Single pane windows are found in many older homes. These windows provide little insulation and can create significant energy expenses. Covering these older windows with plastic sheeting will help to reduce the amount of cold air that enters the home. Keeping the curtains closed during cold nights will also help to keep the cold air out of a home. Of course, whenever the sun is shining a homeowner should let the sunlight shine into the home. This sunlight is a free source of heat for the home, even during the cold winter months.
Many houses have small open areas where the outside air can freely enter the home. These gaps can be found around doors and windows, alongside dryer vents and anywhere utility wires run into the home. A variety of products are available to plug these gaps from caulk to expanding spray foam. Hardware stores and department stores sell inexpensive products to plug these costly openings in a home.
Reduce Hot Water Temperature
If the hot water in a home can scald a person’s hands it is too hot. Appliances like dishwashers that need extra hot water generally have the capability to warm the home’s hot water to the needed temperature. If the hot water in your home is uncomfortably hot, turn your water heater down. Insulating the heater and the pipes can also help to save money. Pipe insulation is particularly inexpensive and can reduce heat lost through the pipes as well as help to prevent a pipe from freezing.