Heating your home during the winter can nearly break the bank. Thankfully, there are low-cost maintenance projects you can do that will make your home cozier during the coldest months of the year. Here is a quick checklist you can run through to make heating more affordable.
1. Install Felt or Foam Weatherstripping
Using felt or foam weatherstripping can address the problem of a drafty door. You can easily check exterior doors for leaks by lighting a candle, slowly passing it around the door frame, and checking to see when the flame blows toward you. A laser infrared thermal gun could also do the job if you want to go with something more high-tech.
While working on the doors, install door sweeps, which are flexible pieces of plastic or rubber that will stop cold air from leaking in under the doors.
2. Stop Air from Leaking out of the Attic
Up to 30 percent of cooled or heated air can seep through gaps in the attic. Look at the insulation in the attic to find leaks, paying special attention to the drywall around pipes, electrical fixtures, outlets, and fans. Seal these areas.
Examine chimneys, vent stacks, flues, and wiring, and seal these as well. Caulking can be used to fill in small gaps, while foam may be better for bigger ones. While you are in the attic, close the damper.
You should fix issues with the roof immediately. Gutter cleaning to prevent problems with ice dams and other moisture issues is also essential.
3. Install New Insulation
It may be a good time to install new insulation in the attic; this will keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. R-38 insulation is a good option in warm weather states, and R-49 is a good option in cold-weather states; this is a job that non-professionals would want to hire out.
4. Purchase a New Thermostat That’s Programmable
A programmable thermostat allows you to lower or raise the temperature in your home while you are not there, keeping the temperature just at the right comfort level when your family needs it. Families can save up to $200 with this device annually.
5. Leave the Temperature at One Setting
You can program your new thermostat to stay at specific temperatures in the morning, during the day, and at night; this will save you money. If you get cold, put on some warm socks and a sweater as opposed to upping the temperature.
6. Perform Maintenance on the Furnace
To prolong the life of your furnace, perform regular maintenance on it; this will keep it running efficiently. Older furnaces usually need to be serviced one time per year. Newer models may only need to be serviced once every two years.
Filters should be replaced each month during the winter and once every three months during other times of the year; this will lower heating bills and improve the efficiency of the furnace.