We all know it: winter is coming. We’re likely in for snow, ice, and freezing temperatures in the coming months in northwest Ohio.
For most, that means rising utility bills as we try to keep our homes warm against the cold. However, there are some easy ways to conserve heat in your home that will lead to energy savings.
Trap and Keep Heat
Many people don’t take advantage of the natural heat from the sun in the winter. It may not feel like it with the cold air biting at your nose as you scrape ice from your car in the morning, but you can harness heat from the sun to help warm up your house or apartment.
Simply open the curtains on your south-facing windows during winter days to bring free heat into your home. When the sun sets, close the curtains to keep the heat inside. You can even look for energy-saving curtains that, when closed, help keep heat from escaping back through the window.
Also, make sure you retain warmth with proper insulation. One short-term solution is adding weatherstripping around the edges of doors and windows to help prevent leaks.
If you’re a homeowner, it may be a good long-term investment to add or upgrade insulation in your home — good insulation can help reduce your utility bill during the winter.
Seal Your Windows
Remember your old college apartment with paper-thin window panes and a whistling gap in the frame?
The same trick you used then is still a smart, money-saving idea: seal your windows with plastic.
This isn’t necessary for quality windows, so you won’t need to worry if yours aren’t letting in air. However, sealing them with plastic can improve their insulating properties if they are leaking air. If you have single-pane windows, even if there aren’t any gaps, window insulation film can help keep heat from escaping.
You may not like the look of a plastic-wrapped window, so one solution is to only do it in rooms that aren’t used as much. Any little bit helps!
Related: 7 Ways Your Home Can Save You Money
Bundle Up and Turn Down the Thermostat
Yes, this one you probably could have thought of on your own. Turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater and thick socks can help you save money on your utility bill this winter.
But do you know how far to turn it down—and how long to keep it there?
The good news is you don’t have to freeze yourself this winter to save money. Energy.gov says that by turning your thermostat down by 7-10°F for 8 hours a day, you can save as much as 10% yearly on heating costs.
Investing in a programmable thermostat can help because the temperature can automatically be lowered at times when it’s not needed.
For a baseline temperature setting, it’s recommended to set it at 68°F during the day, then lower it 7-10 degrees while you’re sleeping or at work. However, be mindful of others using the home who may require warmer temperatures, like young children or seniors.
Weatherproof Before the Cold Weather Sets In
Fall is the best time to do home maintenance tasks that will prepare your home for winter, but doing them anytime will make a difference in keeping your home warm and waterproof.
- Clean rain gutters to avoid leaks or clogs.
- Change your ceiling fan direction to clockwise to push warm air down.
- Change your furnace’s air filter.
- Seal around windows and doors.
- If you have an attached garage, make sure the door fully seals against the floor at the bottom.
More Money-Saving Tips
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