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Winter is just around the corner. As the temperatures drop outside and you raise the thermostat inside, you’ll probably start to notice your energy bills climbing as well.
While it’s natural for energy costs to rise some during cold months, too large of a spike could mean that your home is not as energy-efficient as it needs to be. If you want to lower your energy bill, your home needs to be as weather-proof as possible. Complete the following tasks, and you’ll likely see a drop in costs.
Check Your Windows
If your home seems to require a higher temperature to stay warm than it did in previous years, the most likely culprit is your windows. Bad seals on windows and doors mean cold air can enter, and warm air escapes. As the drafts make their way through your house, the thermostat works harder to keep it warm.
Choosing energy-efficient windows is essential. First, look for ENERGY STAR-rated designs. Consider the types of windows you want, as well.
Different types of glasswork work differently for retaining heat. Gas fills between glaze layers and also helps to keep your home warm.
Remember, new windows will increase the value of your home, and tax credits are often available too!
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have a thermostat that’s capable of scheduling, you probably don’t change the temperature on your manual one often. This means your home is staying as warm as you like it, even if you’re asleep or not home.
A programmable thermostat allows you to preset it so that the temperature drops a few degrees when you’re at work or asleep under blankets. Even a slight drop in temperature is likely to save a few dollars on your monthly utility bill.
Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Everybody loves a hot shower when it’s cold outside, but the high temperature on your water heater is likely contributing to your crazy energy bill.
The default temperature is usually 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you lower it 20 degrees or so, you can save about 10% on your energy bill.
If you will be gone for the holidays, lower it to the lowest setting to save even more.
Add More Insulation to Your Home (Your Energy Bill Will Thank You)
If your windows and thermostats are good for the season, but you’re still having issues, consider the insulation in your home. Poor insulation can significantly raise your energy bill.
Check the walls, around your pipes, and in the attic, adding extra insulation anywhere that doesn’t have enough. Adding more padding around the pipes also keeps your water heater from overworking itself.
Regardless of what you decide to do for your home to ensure you lower your energy bills, remember to use licensed contractors. Trying to do it yourself or to cut corners by hiring someone unqualified to do the work could result in even more costs as you pay to repair botched contracting jobs.
For the best results, get estimates and compare prices from at least three contracting companies, verify their licenses and insurance policies and ask for references.
Take the right steps now, so you stay warm without the high costs this winter!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.