People living in regions that experience cold weather in the winter are preparing for the frigid months ahead. This includes digging out cold weather clothes andmaking sure your vehicle is equipped to handle below zero temperatures, snow and ice. The most important step and one that can save considerable money is winterizing your home. Home heating costs are expected to be lower this winter compared to recent years, nevertheless consumers worry if they will be able to afford keeping their family safe and warm. The following tips are great reminders for both homeowners and renters to help ward off old man winter without breaking the bank.
- Find out where you lose heat- Older homes are notorious for being drafty but even new construction can have problems if windows and doors have been improperly installed. You should inspect doors, windows and fireplaces annually to make sure they are in proper working order and sealing the warm air in and the cold air out. Homes require regular maintenance and even if you didn't have a problem last year, it doesn't mean everything is still in the same condition. Areas that are drafty can be addressed with caulking, weather stripping, door sweeps or even plastic covering that reduces drafts and your heating bill.
- Invest in professional maintenance- Heating units work hard in the winter to keep your home warm. It is more cost effective to have your furnace or other heating equipment inspected annually by a professional to avoid paying more money for an inefficient unit. Not only will you save money each month, you can extend the life of your heating equipment which will save you even more money down the road.
- Let the sun shine in- Take advantage of natural heat provided by the sun. If you have properly ins insulated your windows (see first tip), open curtains and blinds on the sunny side of your home. Solar heat works, even in the winter months.
- Heat the space you use- Focus on the rooms where you spend most of your waking time. Not everyone has the choose of which rooms receive heat and which do not, however you can lower your thermostat for the entire house and add heat to specific areas. By doing this you have more control over the temperature in the rooms you actually use versus heating the entire house all day every day.
- Lower thermostat settings- A few degrees can make a huge difference in your home heating bill. It can also make a difference in your comfort during cold weather. To feel warmer at a lower temperature setting you can wear appropriate clothes for winter weather, use blankets, place rugs on bare floors and use localized heat sources (space heaters, etc.)
Any opportunity to save money and reduce expenses is welcomed by recession weary consumers. Heating your home during the long winter months can easily add hundreds of dollars to your current expenses, however following the tips outlined here will reduce that amount significantly.