If you’re looking to optimize your home’s energy efficiency this winter, take a look at some of these suggestions for how to do so.
Have your furnace serviced. A preventative maintenance check with a heating and cooling technician to inspect your furnace or heat pump will allow it to remain efficient. The system will be checked to be clean and in good repair and measure for carbon-monoxide leakage.
Seal thresholds. When you look under your doors, if you see daylight, then you are losing heated air because the threshold isn’t in contact with the door. Use the screws in the threshold to raise the height and eliminate that gap. Turn the screws counterclockwise to lift the threshold until you eliminate the daylight. Be sure the door isn’t dragging on the threshold, however, because that will wear down the weather stripping.
Replace weather stripping. Eliminate drafts and cold air entering your home by replacing old or damaged weather stripping around your doors and windows. If the gaps are larger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it holds up well to the weather.
Check your attic. In addition to ensuring you have sufficient insulation in your attic, insulate the attic access door. Also be sure the door has a good seal to eliminate air loss through your home into your attic. If you aren’t able to get a secure fit on the access door, consider using a latch system to get a snug fit.
Use a programmable thermostat. If you don’t already have one, you can save considerable money on your heating bill by having the temps lower in your homes (by ten to 15 degrees). This can reduce your bill by ten percent or more each month. (Many models are cheap–starting as low as $25; or the Nest which is closer to $250). If you have one, be sure to set it so that when you’re not home, the thermostat is set lower.
Reverse your ceiling fan. Heat loss due to soaring ceilings can be remedied by switching the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction. This change in direction produces an updraft to push heat down from the ceiling where warm air naturally rises.
Hire a chimney sweep. Make sure your chimney and vents are clean and in good shape to prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from coming into your home. Consider hiring a chimney sweep professional to inspect or clean your chimney.