If you’re like us, winter caught you a bit off guard. With an unseasonably warm Fall, winterizing the house was the last item on the list of things to do.
Fast forward to January 2015 and winter looks like this:
Someone flipped the Snowmaggedon switch and it looks like winter is back with a vengeance. So if you’re looking for some low cost ways to winterize your home in a flash, look no further.
We’ve curated 5 easy ways to winterize your home on the fly.
1. Destroy The Drafts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Test your windows for leaks and drafts by holding a lit candle in front of them. If the smoke from the candle swirls, here’s what you can do:
- Put Up Some Plastic: Remember when people used to shrink wrap their windows? Turns out it wasn’t as ridiculous as it looks. This stuff can help a room to retain as much as 55% of its heat.
- Bust Out the Caulking: Seal everything with this energy saving goop. Check out this handy how to video on how to properly caulk your windows and doors.
2. Take Control of the Thermostat
Let’s be really honest with ourselves here, we love tinkering with the thermostat. Case and point. But if we are truly looking to be efficient with how we heat our home this winter, here are a few things to consider:
- Lower the Temperature: You can shave 1% off your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat down during the winter. Boom, instant savings.
- Get a Programmable Thermostat: Turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a night can save you 5% to 15% on heating costs. You can automate this process with smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee.
- Bundle Up: Winter sucks, and running around the house in shorts and a t-shirt can help us feel a little closer to summer. Unfortunately, it also causes us to crank up the thermostat. So seriously, put on a sweater and some slippers.
3. Master Home Maintenance
Just like a car, a house has a sophisticated system of parts which require some occasional upkeep in order to maintain optimal performance. While there are many costly ways that you can maintain your home’s efficiency (like a new furnace) there are also wallet friendly ways keep your home purring like a well oiled kitten.
- Complete a Checklist: Who can remember every little thing that needs to be checked? For sanity’s sake, here’s a pretty thorough home maintenance checklist that you and your family can divvy up, yay for kids!
4. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
- Reverse the Fan: Since heat rises, a ceiling fan in reverse is a terrific way to push all that warm air back down to where you need it most, around you.
- DIY Space Heater: Want to make a DIY heater that doesn’t run on electricity? Take a peek at this awesome way to keep yourself toasty.
- Turn Down the Water Heater: It takes a lot of juice to keep your water hot and ready, but you could be spending way more money than you have to. If you don’t need skin scalding water on demand, you can save by lowering the temperature.
5. Measure What You’d Like to Manage
Imagine you’re trying to save money on gas, but your car doesn’t have a gas gauge. How successful do you think you’d be? There’s an old adage that says, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” In the case of saving on your home’s electricity, this couldn’t be more accurate.
- Monitor Electricity in Real-Time: Back in the day, the only way to see how much electricity you consumed was to wait until your electricity bill arrived. This makes it pretty hard to make changes in the moment. With real time information, you are able to change your energy habits, turn off unused appliances and forecast what your bill will be based on your usage. Eyedro is an all in one, hardware/software solution that allows you to do just that.