So How can you keep the warm air in and the cold air out this winter? Well, you can start by properly sealing and insulating your home which could save you up to $200 dollars a year. Here are some other ways you can save:
Free Audit: Did you know that most power companies will conduct a home energy audit for free? It typically takes 1-2 hours and they can tell you the biggest areas of heat and cooling loss in your home, as well as ways to reduce the loss and keep you cozy this winter.
Check Your Insulation: The easiest way to maximize your home's energy efficiency is to insulate and tighten your home's "thermal envelope." Insulation not only makes a home more comfortable through the winter, but also, it reduces home energy use by up to 20 percent. First, insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. It's very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation. Next, you need to find the right level of insulation, starting with the R-Value, which measures its ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. And finally, pull-down attic stairs or attic openings are common areas of heat loss... the cover tends to have a gap between itself and the ceiling. Weather stripping around the edges of the back cover will keep the untreated attic air from entering the temperature-controlled areas of your home.
Weatherproof Your Windows and Doors: Energy experts estimate that roughly 21% of a home's energy loss is through windows and doors, and effective air sealing alone can cut energy bills up to 10%. For a larger energy saving project, consider replacing any single-pane windows with double-panes and high-performance glass. For doors, fiberglass entry doors have 5x the energy savings of a traditional wood door and require less maintenance over time. These doors come with triple pane insulated glass, compression weather strip and a polyurethane foam core that will help save money on heating and cooling.
Seal and Insulate Ductwork: Duct systems running through cold attics and basements lose energy in two ways: metal ducts pull heat from the warm air as it travels, and air leaks through small cracks and seams in the ducts. Insulating and sealing your ducts can help improve efficiency by as much as 20%.
Wrap Your Water Heater and Pipes: If your water heater is in a cold basement or garage, water loses heat before it even gets to the faucet. Insulating your conventional water heater with a water heater blanket is an affordable way to save energy and money.
Close Open Flus: Did you know that fireplaces are a key source of heat loss, even if the flu is closed? If your home has an active fireplace, consider using a glass door surround. With one-piece construction, it's designed as a surface mount that sits outside the fireplace against a flat surface and can reduce heating or cooling loss by as much as 90%.
Clean Your Heating System: Furnace filters should be cleaned every 1 to 3 months for energy efficiency, as well as improved air quality, proper climate control and prolonged furnace life.
Install a Programmable Thermostat: Turning back your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save up to 15% a year on your heating and cooling bill. Or, installing a programmable thermostat can save $180 a year.
The Home Depot has many products to help you with winterizing your home this year!