With winter approaching quickly, here are some easy DIY winter energy saving tips.
1 Replace Worn Weatherstripping
Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home’s heat loss occurs around windows and doors, and these leaks often prompt homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep comfy. Even if they don’t turn it up, they’re losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder.
2 Eliminate Drafts Around Electrical Boxes
Electrical boxes in your exterior walls are notoriously drafty because insulation isn’t always placed behind and around them correctly.To stop the leaks, remove the cover plates and fill small gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk. For large gaps, use foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch and replace the cover plate. The gaskets cost about $1.10 for a two-pack.
3 Buy a Portable Heater (and Turn Down the Furnace)
Put a space heater in the place where your family gathers, like the living room, and turn down the furnace temperature. The rest of the house will be cooler but you’ll be warm, and you can save 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree below 70 F that you turn down the furnace. You’ll see those savings all winter long.
4 Cover Windows and Patio Doors with Plastic Film
Windows account for 25 percent of heat loss in homes. Covering the windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film can reduce that loss. Just by using that plastic, you’re going to save about 14 percent on your heating bill. The transparent film is inexpensive; you can find it for about $6 for 62 x 84 inches at home centers. The film is simple to put on and won’t harm your trim, and if you put it on correctly you’ll barely notice it. In the spring, the film comes off easily.
5 Lock Door and Windows
Notice how when you lock your windows, you can often feel them pushing together more tightly? It make a difference for your heating bill. Even when doors and windows are closed, they might not be pressed tight against the weatherstripping if they’re not locked, which allows cold outside air to infiltrate the home. Lock your windows early, If they freeze in their current positions, then they won’t move and you won’t be able to lock them without a lot of work.