Taking a little time and money to weather proof your home before the winter months come can help you save a little money. The following are a few tips that can help you do just that.
Plug up the drafts. Check the areas around windows, doors and believe it or not, electrical outlets. Drafts will suck the heat out of your home and create higher energy bills. You can caulk around windows and install foam outlet protectors – available at most hardware stores – underneath the outlet covers. If you have older windows, you may also want to use a plastic shrink film window kit, available at most hardware stores or even some department stores. These items are typically not expensive.
Have a NEST thermostat installed. You don’t want to waste money heating your home when you’re not there. The NEST learning thermostat will learn your schedule and adjust itself accordingly. (Peter Needham is a NEST certified installer!) The NEST thermostat is not cheap but can pay for itself over time in savings on heating bills.
Install storm doors. Storm doors add an extra layer of protection between you and the elements and can help reduce heating bills. Most big box hardware stores carry them in stock and a handyman can do an install for you. If you are somewhat handy and adventurous, there are many YouTube videos available that will help you figure out how to install a storm door yourself.
Install door sweeps. Door sweeps (that piece of rubber at the bottom of your door) can wear out. It’s a good idea to check them every now and then to see if they need to be replaced. They aren’t difficult to replace and can be purchased at the hardware store or online, just make sure you get the right kind for your door as there are several different ones. A handyman can install this for you, or if you are slightly handy and know how to look up a video on YouTube, you can do it yourself.
Use LED lightbulbs. During the winter months when daylight is in short supply and the lights are on for longer periods, LED lightbulbs can save you a little money over time as they last longer and use less electricity than other types of bulbs. They also don’t get hot to the touch as other lightbulbs do. There are many different sizes and shapes – even decorative ones. You can find them at most hardware stores, or online.
Check your fireplace. Be sure to have your chimney checked and cleaned before you fire it up for the cold season. You will also want to check the flue to make sure it isn’t letting in cold drafts.
These are just a few tips to help you make your home a little more energy efficient. And, as always, if you need help with electrical or HVAC issues for your home or business, you know who to call!