The weather is turning cooler, and the nights are growing longer. How much you save on energy bills this winter may be dependent on the steps you take now to make your home warmer and more comfortable. Some projects can be tackled by a homeowner (depending on your skill and level of perseverance) while others are best completed by a hired professional.
Doors and windows DIY:
Replace worn weather stripping around all doors and windows.
Caulk around gaps in windows and doors.
Install storm doors if you don’t have them.
Hire a contractor: Consider replacing older windows and doors with newer, more energy-efficient models.
Insulation and air sealing DIY:
Add foam insulation gaskets to electrical outlets and switches on external walls (turn the power off first).
Seal gaps in attic knee walls, soffits and basement rim joists by stuffing in pieces of insulation.
Hire a contractor: Check insulation levels and install according to the recommended level in your area.
Heating system DIY:
Replace your furnace filter regularly throughout the heating season.
Vacuum your in-floor or in-wall vent covers regularly.
Hire a contractor:
Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your furnace/HVAC system each year, as well as cleaning any HVAC system components that might need it.
If your heating and cooling system is older, replacing your system with an efficient electric heat pump system (air-source or geothermal) may be the most energy-efficient option. Contact us or a reputable dealer for information on models, installation, rebates and any tax credits that may be available.
Other inexpensive fixes from Building Performance Institute
Use the sun’s heat to your advantage. In the fall and winter, keep shades and curtains open to let sunlight heat your home. Close them as the sun sets to keep cold from seeping in.
Turn your ceiling fan to “winter mode” with the blades turning clockwise to help push heat down from the ceiling into the room.
Move furniture and other objects that may be blocking vents to improve air flow.
Keep your doors and windows locked; this helps keep them pushed tight against the weather stripping to prevent air leaks.