Low-Budget Weatherizing and Home Energy Conservation Tips for Homeowners
Improve Energy Efficiency for Little-to-No-Money
Winter feels as if it might be rolling in earlier than normal this year, so that means there’s no better time than now to start making your home more energy efficient. With this kind of effort, your winter heating bills won’t break your bank.
If you’ve been putting off your weatherizing tasks because you think they’ll be an extra-added expense, you’re in luck – we have a list of home energy conservation tips that are low- to no-cost!
Tips for Improving Heat in the Home
When your HVAC system has good air flow, it makes the temperature in your home more balanced and comfortable. Removing obstructions also improves the air quality in the home. Some of the ways you can do this for free include vacuuming the registers throughout the home, and removing anything that might be impeding the flow of air coming from them.
You can also clean the blades on your ceiling fan, and turn the switch so the fan pushes the warm air that’s trapped at the ceiling down and into the room. If you have a fireplace, make sure you keep the damper closed when it’s not in use and open the drapes during the day to allow the sun to warm your living space naturally.
Turning your thermostat down to 68-65 degrees during the day and 60-58 degrees at night will help prevent it from kicking on as frequently when you’re out of the house or sleeping.
The only tip in this section that would cost you any money would be replacing your HVAC’s air filter, which you should do before the heating season begins.
Cheap Ways to Seal Air Leaks
Installing inexpensive rubber gaskets on the outlets that are in your home’s exterior-facing walls will stop air from being leaked through the gaps around the switches and outlets. Applying cheap weather-stripping around your windows and exterior doors will help create stronger, leak-proof seals.
You should also remove any old or cracked caulk from around your windows and re-seal them with fresh beads of caulk. Use the same caulk to seal up any gaps you find around ducts, pipes, vents, drains, and exhaust fans that exit the home. If you have storm windows on your home, keeping them closed in the winter will give you an extra-added layer of wind protection.
Appliance and Electronics Conservation
Your HVAC system isn’t the only thing raising your energy bills in winter; your appliances and electronics can also be having an impact. Here are some free ways to help reduce the amount of energy that’s being wasted in your home:
- Unplug all phone, tablet, and computer chargers when not in use
- Turn off the computer and monitor when not in use
- Power several electronics from a single power strip and turn the strip off at night
- Clean the lint trap on the clothes dryer every time between loads
- Let hot foods cool before placing them in the refrigerator
- Turn off the heat-dry option on your dishwasher
- Turn on the water-saving option on your dishwasher
As you can see, there are several ways you can conserve energy over the winter that won’t cost you a dime. In fact, you can do all the above for just the cost of a new air filter, some weather-stripping, and a tube of household caulk. Practicing energy saving tips like the ones listed above will help you save money through winter and beyond, and it can all be done for little-to-no-money!