Every homeowner in Pennsylvania knows that winter means only one thing: higher energy costs. In an effort to keep our houses warm and comfortable, we consume more energy, and our bills go up.
But what if we told you there were a few simple and easy things that you could do yourself that would help reduce your energy costs and still keep your home cozy and warm? Here's how.
Windows are often the source of cold drafts and a place where heat can escape. Check your windows to make sure they are appropriately sealed. If you have older windows, and replacing them isn't in the cards for this year, a great way to prevent drafts is to add a bead of removable caulk along the edge of the windows. As the name implies, you can simply peel it off in the springtime so that your windows can open once again.
Another effective energy efficiency tool for your windows is tinted plastic film. Not only can this prevent as much as 55% of the heat from escaping through the windows in the winter, but it also helps to keep your home be cooler in the summer.
Carefully follow the instructions for applying the film, particularly concerning cleaning the window since any dirt or dust will be noticeable under the film.
Door jams are often another common source of cold air drafts. First, check the weather stripping around the door to make sure it isn't damaged or worn. If it is, it should be replaced.
If there's a space between the bottom of your door and the threshold, you can close that gap by raising the threshold. There are some screws for this purpose in the threshold usually covered by caps.
If you switch your ceiling fans to the reverse position during the winter, it will draw warm air up to the ceiling and push it back down along the edge of the room to create a more even temperature throughout.
Wood-burning fireplaces, while having a romantic appeal that adds ambiance, are notorious for having a negative R-value.
That's because any heat that they may provide is negated by the amount of warm air that can escape through the chimney. You can mitigate this heat loss by keeping the chimney flue closed whenever the fireplace is not in use.
One element that homeowners often overlook is the heating potential that the sun can provide. If you keep your curtains and blinds open, particularly on south facing windows, you'll gain some added heat from the sunshine; heat that your furnace won't have to generate.
Your furnace is where all of that costly energy gets consumed to heat your home. It stands to reason, then, that maintaining it in optimal working order will result in savings on your energy bills. A great way to ensure that your furnace is in excellent working order is to have it inspected and maintained by a qualified heating expert every year.