It’s winter, and that means your energy bills begin to soar as the temperatures go down, unless you’re a smart homeowner and adopt some simple energy efficient life-hacks to keep your energy costs under control.
5 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency and Lower Winter Energy Bills
Here are a few very simple and economical things you can do to your home to keep your energy consumption down and your money nice and warm in your wallet:
Start with Your Windows
Think about it: Your windows have a nice function, to let you see what’s going on outside, but from a structural standpoint, they’re giant holes in your house covered by a pane of glass. That’s not exactly the best protection against the frigid temperatures outside. You can use your windows to your advantage though in the battle against winter. Your windows not only let in light during the day but also radiate heat.
Unfortunately, too many homeowners keep their blinds or curtains closed during the day and minimize the amount of heat they let in. Open up those window coverings and let the daylight help heat your home. Likewise, close your drapes or blinds at night and prevent that heat from escaping so quickly. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your windows are properly sealed, too, to keep the cold air out.
Check out some of our before and after window projects: Window Renovations.
Bundle Up and Avoid Turning Up the Thermostat
Why pay extra by keeping your thermostat cranked up when your closet contains all the warmth you need. Put on a sweater or fleece when you’re inside and some cozy woolen socks and you’ll be surprised at how much body heat you’ll retain. Add in some strategically placed couch blankets, area rugs on hardwood or tile floors and some flannel bedding with a nice comforter and you can keep your thermostat at a level that’s much more economical. We’re not talking about donning a parka and ski mittens here, just some additional layers that will allow you to save on energy expenses while still being comfortable.
Turn on Your Ceiling Fan
Perhaps you weren’t aware that most ceiling fans spin in two directions. Most homeowners only use one, the counter-clockwise rotation that pushes warm air up in the summer months. By reversing your ceiling fan, you can push that same warm air down and essentially trap it in your room. Go ahead, try it. It really works.
Check Your Insulation
Here’s the one life-hack that might cost you a little money. But if your home isn’t properly insulated, you might as well be throwing money out the window anyway. You’ll save far more than you spend by having your insulation inspected and installing installation in those areas that let heat escape. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s not a difficult DIY project. Otherwise, call a professional and let them do a thermal scan and install the insulation properly.
Shut Off Your Exhaust Fans
In addition to sucking out odors, those exhaust fans in your kitchen & bathrooms also suck out the heat. By all means, use them when cooking or…you know, but when you’re finished, don’t forget to turn them off. Otherwise, you’re literally just heating the outdoors. If lingering odors are still a concern, buy some scented candles and let them burn after turning off the exhaust fans.
Start Saving Energy Today
These simple tips will save you a lot of money this winter and decrease the amount of energy you consume. That’s a win-win for everyone: you and the environment. If you’d like a professional evaluation of your home’s windows, gutters and siding for energy efficiency, contact St. Louis’s own Penny Window. They’ve been serving St. Louis and St. Charles County homeowners for over 60 years, and more than happy to come out and provide a free estimate for you.
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