Here are 10 home improvements that you can make this winter that will save you both money and energy:
1. Caulk around windows and doors, making sure that all cracks and holes are sealed.
This will keep the cold air out of your house, which will keep your heater from working overtime. If necessary, you might also consider adding or replacing weather stripping.
2. Add area rugs to your tile and wood floors.
This creates an extra layer of insulation in your home and also makes it easier to walk around your home in bare feet during the winter time.
3. Install glass doors that close off your fireplace.
This will not only keep cold air from coming down and through your house but it will also prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney. Also, if you use your fireplace, make sure to close the flue when you're finished.
4. Insulate your attic door.
For instance, you can buy covers for your attic staircases or openings. This will actually help you reduce energy costs all year long.
5. Cover your windows.
Even if you don't have storm windows, you can create your own with a window insulation kit. And inside your house, consider using insulated drapes.
6. Buy Insulated Garage Doors and Exterior Doors.
Typically, the garage doors that come with most homes aren't insulated. You can change that to save on energy costs.
7. Add insulation to your home throughout.
This includes in the attic as well as the crawl space, garage and basement. Experts recommend that you add insulation if you haven't done so in more than 20 years.
8. Reverse Ceiling fans.
Some people may not be aware of this but you actually have the option of reversing your ceiling fans. Running them counterclockwise makes it cooler during the summer months but by making them clockwise, they will circulate warm air back into the room.
9. Replace your furnace filters.
Just like with anything else, dirty furnace filters will make it work less efficiently. Generally speaking, filters should be changed every month during the heating season.
10. Replace your outdated furnace altogether.
If your furnace is older, you might consider purchasing a newer unit that is going to produce more heat with less energy. Just make sure that you get the right size for the space you have.
If you want to take your home-savings even further this winter, you can check out the U.S. Department of Energy's do-it-yourself energy audit on their website. Or you can call a contractor and request a professional audit.
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