You know to use energy-efficient light bulbs and to adjust your thermostat at night and when you’re away from home. But over the winter, there are additional steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient and save money in the process.
During a professional home energy assessment, an energy auditor examines your home from roof to basement, making notes along the way and offering solutions to any problems you uncover. While well worth the money, there are a few things you can do yourself to winterize your home and save money on your energy bill.
Here’s how to reduce winter energy costs like a pro in three easy steps:
STEP 1: Check for Leaks and Examine Insulation
Step outside and take a look at your home. Do you see any problems around the walls, joints, or eaves? Any cracks or gaps or other areas without a tight fit could spell disaster to your energy efficiency. From the inside, check for the same kind of leaks around windows and in your attic. While you’re up there, examine the visible insulation in your home: Is it covering everything correctly? If your insulation is not evenly applied and in place, it’s not doing its job. Reposition or add insulation to fix your coverage. And patch or seal any air leaks throughout your home.
STEP 2: Check Your Appliances and Change Your Filters
A large portion of your energy costs in the winter comes from your furnace and water heater. Examine them to make sure they are working efficiently and nothing is preventing them from doing so. Often, changing the filters in your furnace will make a big difference in how hard it must work to keep your home warm. Is your water heater properly insulated? If not, it could be losing energy long before the water makes it through your faucets. Another place to examine is the back of your refrigerator. Giving it a quick brush or passover with a vacuum attachment can remove dust and grime that overworks the motor.
STEP 3: Finish Your Winterization
Winter requires more specific preparation than other seasons. Depending on the size and age of your house, as well as how many years you’ve prepared it in the past, you may have a lot of winterizing to do. Fill oil or propane tanks, check the fireplace, winterize the spigots and plumbing, and collect emergency supplies. As they say, if you’re prepared for an emergency, you’re less likely to come across one.
For a full list of winterization tips, read: Everything You Need to do to Protect Your Home for Winter.
Ready to See Lower Winter Energy Costs?
Lower energy costs can help save you money in any season, but especially over the winter. Investing in a professional home energy assessment and upgrades to save energy can put anywhere from 5–30% of your energy bill back in your pocket. Begin making changes to reduce your energy costs today.
For even more tips, learn more from the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at energy.gov.
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about making your home energy efficient, our experts at Beverly-Hanks are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent.
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