Tips to winterize your home

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Colder temperatures have arrived, which can mean more expensive heating bills.

However, there are some tips you can use to in order to cut your winter energy bill, by winterizing your home. 

Re-set your thermostat.

One of the first steps to cut your heating bill is to re-set your thermostat. According to energy experts, you can save up to 10 percent a year by setting your thermostat seven to 10 degrees lower for eight hours a day, such as times you are away or asleep. Set it and forget it by using a programmable thermostat.

Heat pump differs.

Now it’s different if you have a heat pump. Big moves to lower the heat can backfire, causing the unit to work less efficiently, increasing your costs. 

It’s more efficient to make smaller adjustments in heat settings instead — such as lowering the temperature just one or two degrees instead of 10 degrees. However, some newer heat pumps have programmable thermostats that make bigger changes cost-effective.

Hot water heater.

Your hot water is a big energy user. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping your water heater’s thermostat set at 120 degrees. Anything higher is unnecessary. Water that’s too hot can even be dangerous. Every 10-degree reduction in your water heater’s thermostat can shave three to five percent off your bill.

Closing possible holes and airways.   

There are many places where warm air can seep out of a house, allowing cold air to creep in.

Thoroughly check the interior and exterior of your home for cracks and gaps, paying particular attention to areas around chimneys, furnace flues, electrical outlets, windows and doors. 
Fill small leaks with caulk.

Enjoy the fireplace this winter!  But when you are not using it, keep the damper closed.

An open damper creates a draft, pulling air from the room and sending heat — and your money — up the chimney.

Ceiling fan usage.    

Using ceiling fans in the summer can keep you cool. Most ceiling fans also have a switch so you can set the blades to rotate in reverse during the winter. 

This pushes the warm air near the ceiling down toward the floor to keep you warmer. You find this switch on the body of the fan and set the blades to turn counter-clockwise in winter.

Other simple fixes.  

You can reduce heat loss by keeping the drapes in your family room or bedroom closed at night, or when the sun is not streaming in. But when it’s sunny, open your blinds or drapes and let the sun’s warmth pour into your home.

A few easy ideas to save energy this coming winter.

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