BRRRRRRRRR... baby it's cold outside
Tips to Help You Save on Your Heating Bill During the Fall + Winter
Although it is not actually cold yet in the Philadelphia area (and definitely no where near it in the Atlanta area), we are experiencing the last stretch of warmth as cooler weather draws near. But we, at the Modern Black Belle, believe that this is the perfect time to get a jump start on protecting your investment (and your pockets). Do not fall victim to procrastination and leave your home and family unprotected. Keep reading to see what Rudy has done and learned about when it came to weatherizing her home.
During the colder months, you want to make sure that the air inside your home is set at a comfortable temperature, but you also want to make sure that you’re not paying for heat that is inevitably going to escape your home. We all remember our parents tell us to close the door or shut the windows because they weren't heating the neighborhood! Unless you have properly sealed and weather-proofed your home, this is exactly what you are doing – as well as emptying your pocket book. Below you’ll find my top 4 tips that are key to having a warm winter without breaking the bank:
1. Warm up your system
Did you know that there is potential for carbon monoxide exposure if your home heating equipment is not properly tested, serviced, and maintained? The best way to avoid this is by servicing your heating system before winter begins and the snow comes. There are plenty of companies that have affordable packages to service and check all systems. We understand that every home is unique, but whether you have a oil-based heating system, central heating and cooling, or a good old-fashion steam radiator, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance for your home’s heating systems. A well-maintained system will last longer, operate more efficiently, and save you money.
2. Keep It Sealed!
A poorly sealed house is costly, and properly insulating your home can cost upwards of $500 per room (we will discuss this later). If this is not an expense you have prepared for, here are some cost-saving tips to get you by. Try using caulk around doors and windows. Placing plastic on older windows that aren’t as energy efficient will also help. Keep your windows locked to make a tighter seal that is more resistant to drafts. If you have a fireplace, keep your damper closed when the fireplace is not in use. Another culprit of wasted heat is the bottom of our doors. You can stop any heat from getting out by putting stoppers at the bottoms. Not only will these stoppers prevent heat from escaping during the winter, but they can also come in handy in the other seasons of the year to reduce any dirt or pollen that might make their way into your home and keep the cool air in your home when you are running the AC.
3. Manage your Thermostat
Keep thermostats set at a comfortable level. In my household, this is a constant battle because I love it hot but the rest of the family wants to walk around bundled up. But you can save about 2% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. Consider investing in a smart thermostat. With the advancements of technology today, you can purchase a thermostat that allows you to control your home heating and cooling settings from the comfort of your mobile device. This added convenience with smart thermostats also helps you stay on top of your energy usage with monitoring features as well.
PRO TIP: The professionals suggest that when you are asleep or out of the house, try turning your thermostat down 10° to 15° for eight hours to save approximately 10% on your heating bill.
4. Upgrade your Insulation
Lastly, but definitely most important, insulating your home can significantly reduce your heating costs, while also increasing the comfort of your home. There are various areas that air leaks from such as outlets, floors, walls, ducts, fireplaces, doors, windows, vents, and plumbing. Energy efficient insulation can not only cut your home's average monthly energy bill by 10%, but it is noted as on of the most value-adding upgrades. Think about it, what other improvements can you make to your home that add value AND help you save money! Before you consider jumping head first into this project, make sure you do your research for homes specifically similar to yours and always compare contractors in order to get the best work for the best value.
PRO TIP: In order to help you pinpoint air leaks, light a candle and slowly move it around your door and window frames. If there is a draft, the flame will flicker.