When temperatures drop, we start cranking up the thermostat. While your house might be warm and inviting on a cold day, the accompanying energy bill is anything but welcome. In fact, up to 22% of the average family’s budget is spent on energy. Here are three things you can do today to save money on your energy bill this fall and winter.
1. Bring in a professional
You would never willingly throw away money, but that’s exactly what you’re doing if your home isn’t energy efficient. The average household will pay more than $1,000 each winter for electric-provided heat. Propane and heating oil are even more expensive. A professional energy assessment will determine where your home is leaking heat. You can find an auditor by checking with your utility company or local weatherization office. These experts will go through your home room-by-room and use special equipment, such as infrared cameras, to identify heat loss in your home. They might even perform a blower door test. This is where a high-powered fan is installed in an exterior door to lower the air pressure in your house, allowing higher pressure outside air to flow in through unwanted leaks and cracks.
2. Pay attention to windows
Your windows are important for saving money on your energy bill. About 30% of a home’s energy is lost through the windows. To keep this from happening in your house, follow these easy steps. First, open your south-facing curtains during the day to let the sunshine warm your home naturally — and make sure to close them at night. Next, tape clear plastic to the inside of your window frames to prevent cold drafts. Last, consider window treatments that are energy efficient, such as insulated cellular shades, window quilts and drapes.
3. Look for leaks
You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by setting the thermostat back seven to ten degrees. However, in order to comfortably turn your thermostat down, you’ll need to make sure warm air isn’t leaking out through cracks in your home. First, look for gaps between the floor and the bottoms of your exterior doors. You can use weather stripping or caulk to seal these areas. Next, walk around the exterior of your home. You might find cracks near the foundation or in spaces where different building materials meet. Lastly, inspect your fireplace. A home’s energy bill can increase by up to 30% due to an open fireplace damper. Keep the damper closed unless you have a fire burning, and check the seals around your fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America can help make sure your fireplace is both safe and energy efficient.
Energy efficiency in your dream home
When preparing for a cold winter, you shouldn’t have to worry about your mortgage. Contact First Centennial Mortgage today to make sure your house payment fits your unique financial situation. First Centennial Mortgage will help you achieve the American Dream of home ownership at the price that’s right for you.