Believe it or not, there is absolutely no reason to waste anywhere near as much money as you probably do right now on your heating bill – even in the dead of winter.
Sure, your heating bill is (probably) always going to be a bit higher than most people would like, but that’s just the nature of the beast. This is especially true in you live in the frigid North east (or anywhere that enjoys a bit of winter weather almost into June), and some of it is going to be completely and totally unavoidable.
At the exact same time, though, there are a lot of different tips and tricks that you can easily apply – right now, this very minute – that will help you to dramatically cut down on your heating costs and expenses going forward.
We’ve included some of those incredibly important tips and tricks in this quick guide.
What are we waiting for?
Let’s dive right in!
Replace ALL of your weather-stripping
One of the most important things you can do to dramatically improve your home’s efficiency at trapping and retaining heat (which will, inevitably, dramatically reduce the amount of money you spend on heating your home at the exact same time) is to replace ALL of the weather-stripping you have throughout your home.
According to the president of Energy Audit Institute (based out of New Jersey), 99% of all weather-stripping installed in homes across America today is more than two or three years old – which is at least one year older than it probably should be!
Sure, it would be nice if weather-stripping once a “set it and forget it” kind of investment, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the time you can expect one or two solid years of high quality performance out of weather-stripping (and less out of the “cheap stuff”), but after that you are really starting to play with fire.
Really inexpensive to replace (but responsible for at least 12% of a home’s total heat loss in the windows and doors), you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to go around and change out all of the weather-stripping in your home before the winter chill begins to kick in.
Adjust every one of your exterior doors
Your house (and every other house, for that matter) is going to settle over time.
This means that it is going to shift and move (most of the time – hopefully – in an almost imperceptible way), and you need to be prepared for the gaps that it is going to create between your exterior doors the floor.
You are going to want to go around to each and every one of your exterior doors and make sure that there isn’t that much of a gap between the bottom of the door and the actual floor or threshold.
Obviously, some gap is going to be necessary for the door to operate – but anything larger than 1/8 of an inch or so is going to be way, way too much.
You’ll want to either manually adjust the height of the door or add extra weather-stripping to the bottom of the door to make sure that the gap is just as tight as possible without hindering the actual operation of the door.
This is probably going to require a little bit of time (and a couple of hand tools that you likely have lying around your home), and definitely a bit of “back and forth” to really hit that sweet spot that you’re looking for. But because you are losing at least 12% of your home’s heat through door cracks like this, you need to – ABSOLUTELY MUST – tackle this project as soon as you possibly can.
Seal the gaps in your electrical boxes
Even though the majority of home-owners out there have some kind of insulation in their exterior walls (and if you don’t, that is priority number one), the overwhelming majority of people do not have any insulation whatsoever surrounding their electrical boxes or any other “additions” to the framing of their homes.
And while it doesn’t seem like too terribly much of your homes heat will sneak out of those tiny little gaps in your exterior walls, literally nothing could be further from the truth. Any gap – ANY gap – especially in your exterior walls are going to leak a tremendous amount of heat, and electrical boxes are some of the biggest culprits that go almost completely unnoticed.
Well, you’re going to want to treat this “invisible issue” just as quickly as you can.
The easiest way to stop these leaks from becoming major problems is to get your hands on foam or rubber gaskets that you can pick up at any hardware store or home improvement supply shop for right around a dollar or so.
These rubber gaskets are specifically designed to perfectly fit around universal electrical outlets, and will stop all kinds of heat leakage from crippling your homes of heating bill every single month. It’s a fix that should take right around 30 seconds or so to take care of (per outlet), and one that you can hammer out in a single afternoon to button up your entire home.
Take advantage of advanced technology
Thermostat technology has absolutely jumped forward into the future by leaps and bounds in just the last few years, and you’re going to want to integrate these “programmable thermostats” into your home just as soon as you’re able.
Programmable thermostats will allow you to completely and totally control how your home is heated (and cooled), while at the same time guaranteeing that you cut down on your energy bill.
Easy enough to integrate into your HVAC system all on your own (and a cheap fix if you’re looking to go with a professional installation), there is literally no reason whatsoever to be dealing with a traditional thermostat any more.
At the end of the day, each and every one of the tips and tricks outlined above are going to help you decrease your energy and heating bill while at the same time boosting your comfort in your home this winter.
Combined together, however, they have the chance to really transform your life from here on out!