The cold weather, heavy snow, and intense winds that accompany winter will inevitably increase your energy bills. As a homeowner, there are several steps you can take to keep costs as low as possible. From layering up to upgrading your windows & doors, there are options for every budget.
1. Bundle Up
We know it may seem small, but one of the easiest ways to keep your energy bills low this winter is to put on some extra layers and turn your heat down! Break out the fuzzy slippers, hot beverages and the ever cozy hot water bottle. By bundling up and keeping the heat directly surrounding your body, you can set the thermostat low and allow your energy bills to match.
While you’re at it, when the sun is highest in the sky, between 9am and 3pm, keep your shades open and let the sun in! Not only will it boost your mood during those dark winter months, but it will heat your home naturally. This leaves less work for your heater to do! However, be sure you don’t have any leaks in your windows before doing this. Learn how to check for drafts here.
2. Upgrade your Thermostat
If you’re not already utilizing modern technology in your home to conserve energy, now is the time to do so! By upgrading to a smart thermostat that learns when you’re away and asleep you can save up to 10% a year, according to energy.gov. And it’s not just your heating & cooling thermostat to pay attention to! Every 10 degrees that you reduce on your hot water heater’s thermostat can reduce your bill from 3-5%. The Department of Energy actually recommends setting it to 120 degrees, any more than that is wasteful and potentially dangerous.
3. Service your HVAC System
A tried and true way of keeping your heating system efficient this winter, is to give it regular tune ups. You can do this in a number of easy and cost effective ways. First, be sure to check your filter every month. It can get particularly dirty during the winter months when it’s in use so often. If after a month it’s not looking so great, go ahead and change it. However, bare minimum maintenance would require it be changed every three months. You don’t want dirt and lint slowing down the air flow into your home. Let your system work smarter for you, not harder.
An additional way of letting your HVAC system work smarter, is to seal and insulate the ductwork. Doing so can increase the efficiency of your system up to 20 percent, according to Energy Star. Ultimately, you really want to focus on sealing the ducts throughout all of your unheated and uninsulated spaces. Examples of these would include your attic, unfinished basement, or garage. After they’ve been sealed using mastic sealant or metal tape, you can also wrap them in insulation to keep them from taking on the temperature of the space.
Have ceiling fans in your home? Most ceiling fans have a small switch on their base. Flipping this will alternate the rotation of your fan to counterclockwise. In turn, this pushes the warm air that has risen back toward the floor. Ceiling fans use very little energy, and can contribute to the comfort of your home all year round. So even if you don’t have one, maybe now is the time to invest!
4. Seal Windows & Doors
Energy Star has estimated that up to 30% of heating use is due to air leaking through gaps in your home. This is your hard earned money simply walking out the door. You have quite a few options when it comes to sealing up these gaps in your home, but first you have to identify them. More often than not they are coming from your windows and doors. If you’ve checked your windows and doors for drafts and pinpointed any offenders, go ahead and get ready to seal them off. You can do this with weatherstripping and some window film. The window film in particular is a great option for letting the sun creep in during those prime hours! And if sunlight just isn’t of interest to you, dressing up your windows with some insulated curtains would do wonders. Not only do they act as blackout curtains, but they will retain the heat from the sun’s rays and slowly release back out into the room.
5. Upgrade Exterior Finishes
The best and most long lasting option for turning your home into an energy efficient machine, is to upgrade your exterior finishes. If your windows and doors are old, outdated, damaged, or inefficient, then the winter months could get tough. Replacing your old doors and windows with more energy efficient options, like the ones offered at Castle Windows, could save you up to 25-30% on your heating bill this winter, according to the Department of Energy.
The same goes for your roofing and siding. When thinking about insulating your house against cold temperatures, you can’t neglect your roof or siding. They are the shields that protect you and your family from earth’s often nefarious elements. If the shingles on your roof are curling, squishy, or missing altogether it’s time to upgrade to a new one. Roofs really only last around 20 to 25 years, so if you’ve hit that mark it can only be a worthy investment.
Outdated or traditional siding doesn’t offer the greatest level of protection against the elements. Instead, consider Castle’s Premium Vinyl Insulated Siding System. It provides exceptional protection against fading due to weather, but more importantly it protects your home from the winter winds. This system will save you money on energy bills, increase resale value, and comes with a worry-free guarantee.
For Maximum Savings this Winter, Call Castle Windows
You should consider all of the options listed above when deciding how to reduce your energy costs. However, there is no better way of preparing your home for the winter than replacing your old and inefficient exterior finishes, and Castle has them all. Whether you need roofing, siding, windows or doors– we can fit your needs.
Castle is a family-run business, excited to provide quality home improvement products to 11 states while maintaining a fun, family culture in the office. That’s a big part of how we do business; we treat our customers like they are a part of the family.
At Castle, we are proud to be listed year after years as one of the country’s largest and best home improvement companies. We are also highly awarded and continually rank among the best in sales, installation and service. Reach out today to talk to one of our experts, or check out some of our testimonials to learn more about how we can help prepare your home for winter.