It might not be too cold yet where you live, but the cold is coming. We’ll need warm clothes, a snug house and our heaters need to be in good working order. Heating our homes can be costly, so keeping that warm air where it belongs can save a lot of money. Weather stripping around doors and windows is a good way to keep the cold out and the warmth in. Every year we should have our heating systems checked for safety. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.
Older people are more sensitive to the cold than younger people. They often are very frugal with their finances, so getting them ready for winter can save them money and keep them warmer.
Cold Weather Energy Saving Tips
Better Homes and Gardens’ website suggests a number of things homeowners can do to reduce their energy use. Your heat unit needs the filters replaced on a regular basis. If your air flow from your heater doesn’t seem adequate, you might need your ducts inspected. In fact, a good heating contractor can prevent a number of things that might go wrong with your system. If you’re hearing a lot of noise from your unit, you might need new belts for the fan.
If you heat with gas, your unit should be inspected every year. If it’s not in good working order it could send noxious fumes into your home. Now is also a good time to check the batteries in your fire and carbon dioxide alarms.
To make sure that your heater doesn’t have to work harder than is necessary, you can inspect the weather stripping around your doors and windows and see if some windows need more caulking around the glass. You can carefully check around windows and doors with a candle. Hold it close to the perimeters of your doors and windows; if it flickers, you have air coming in.
Home Maintenance Saves Money
According to the Better Homes and Gardens article, weather stripping or caulking can save you up to 10 percent on your energy bill. Your outside doors might need new sweeps to keep the cold air from coming in from outside. The article also suggest checking around entry points for electrical, cable, phone, gas, and so on. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk.
If you or your older loved one uses a fireplace or wood burning stove, the chimney and pipes also need to be inspected for blockage and necessary repairs. Creosote can build up in pipes and chimneys and is the major cause of chimney fires. Chimneys need fire arresting caps that are in good shape. Open and close the damper to make sure it’s working well.
The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) website also has a few tips on saving money to keep your home warm. They suggest opening your draperies on sunny days to let the warming rays in. Keep your fireplace flue closed when not in use and pull out extra blankets and throws for beds, easy chairs and couches.