Heating a home during the winter months can leave an enormous hole in your finances. The colder your locale, the more you can expect to shell out in utility costs every month. However, while heating bills are always going to set you back a little, there are numerous ways to make your home heating setup more cost-effective and save yourself a bundle. Anyone looking to keep their residence nice and toasty without breaking the bank should consider the following measures.
Securely Seal Drafts in Windows
Without even realizing it, many of us allow a tremendous amount of warm air to escape through our windows. As long as the windows are securely shut, we tend to believe that indoor air can’t escape and outdoor air can’t enter our homes. However, unbeknownst to a sizable number of homeowners, this is far from the case.
Drafts are among the most common reasons for window-related heat loss during the winter months. While some window drafts are large enough to be immediately noticeable, others can only be found through meticulous inspection. In order to determine which, if any, of your home’s windows are affected by drafts, thoroughly inspect each one and make note of your findings. Next, set to work sealing any drafts your inspection turned up.
Fortunately, even if you’re not particularly well-versed in home maintenance, you shouldn’t have much trouble sealing drafty windows. In the case of larger drafts, you may want to consider recaulking the affected windows. In most cases, however, a good window insulation kit should produce the desired results. Not only are these kits readily available and affordable on any budget, they can help you get rid of drafts in a timely and stress-free manner.
Keep Your Curtains Closed
Keeping your curtains closed is another effective way to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering. This measure can be particularly effective if you outfit the various windows in your home with thermal curtains. Since they’re made of much thicker materials than standard curtains, thermal curtains are well-equipped to seal in warm air and prevent cold air from gaining entrance.
As a bonus, thermal curtains can also come in handy during the brutally hot summer months, when they can be used to seal in cool air and keep warm air at bay. Furthermore, some thermal curtains are effective at drowning out noise from outside, which can be a plus for people who live in congested areas or on streets with a fair amount of traffic.
Make Furnace Maintenance a Priority
During the wintertime, a well-maintained furnace can be your best friend. Conversely, a furnace that doesn’t receive proper maintenance can prove ineffective at heating and potentially become a safety hazard. Additionally, the less maintenance your furnace receives, the harder it has to work – and the harder it has to work, the more you can expect to pay in heating costs. With this in mind, take care to make furnace maintenance one of your foremost priorities.
In addition to changing your furnace filter on the schedule recommended by its manufacturer, you should make a point of cleaning it at least once a year. If you’re unclear on how to clean a furnace – or carry out any other furnace maintenance task – get in touch with seasoned professionals.
Install Energy-Efficient Doors and Windows
Upgrading to energy-efficient doors and windows is another great way to minimize escaped air. Per the name, these doors and windows are designed to limit escaped air to the barest possible minimum, thereby saving you a bundle in heating and cooling costs. Although they cost more than standard doors and windows upfront, they should soon pay for themselves in the form of noticeably reduced utility bills.
It’s no secret that wintertime utility costs can be a beast. The colder it gets in your neck of the woods, the pricier you can expect your heating bills to be. To be clear, winter heating costs are always going to be bothersome – especially for people who reside in parts of the country that are known for cold weather. Still, there are a variety of measures you can take to heighten cost-effectiveness and lessen the financial sting of maintaining a consistently warm home.