5 Home Energy Conservation Tips for the Winter
We all know the mantra by now— turn down the thermostat during the winter months and you’ll save money. And it’s true. According to the Department of Energy, for every degree you lower the thermostat, you’ll save 1 percent on your energy bill. But turning down the heat has a big drawback—you have to wear extra clothes to stay warm. Want some more solutions? Read our expert tips about new, innovative and tried-and-true ways to tame your heating bills, without sacrificing comfort.
1. Stop Fireplace Heat Loss
Airtight fireplace doors fasten to the masonry opening like other door systems, but they seal the area to keep heated air from leaking up the chimney. Wood-burning fireplaces can warm up a room, but more often, they rob a house of heat by letting it escape up the chimney. If you have a modern fireplace with a cold air intake from outside, make sure you equip it with an airtight door. If you have an older fireplace that uses room air for combustion, equip it with a door that has operable vents. And only keep those vents open when you have a fire in the fireplace. Otherwise, heat will constantly be sucked out of the house.
2. Install Quilted Curtains to Block Drafts
Quilted curtains cover drafty windows, making your room warmer at a lower temperature. If you’re turning up the heat in the house to compensate for drafty windows, consider quilted curtains, which can increase your comfort and let you keep the temp down.
3. Use Space Heaters
Space heaters cut heating bills only if you turn down the temperature in the entire house. The heaters work best in walled-in-rooms (rather than open spaces), where the heat can be contained.
4. Make Your Windows Work For You
Keep open the blinds or drapes on windows with direct sun exposure (usually on the south side of the house) to let the sunlight heat the room. Heating doesn’t get any cheaper than this! At night, close the blinds or drapes to cover the cold glass.
5. Seal Basement Air Leaks
Calking the sill plate and the rim joist stops air leaks along the foundation. Sill plates and rim joists are usually poorly insulated (if at all) and very leaky. So if you have an unfinished basement, grab some silicone or acrylic latex caulk to seal the sill plate.