Autumn’s colder temperatures ultimately lead to turning on the furnace. Higher utility bills are in the offing for the next six months or so. As a homeowner, it can be troubling to know that so much of your hard-earned money is being consumed by home heating. And of course, shorter days and longer nights mean the lights being on for more often. It all adds up to money coming out of your pocket.
This fall do not take the change of seasons sitting down. Stand up and do something about it. Take whatever steps are necessary to increase your home’s energy efficiency. The less energy you use this fall and winter, the more money you will have to put toward other things.
Seal up Windows and Doors
Windows and doors represent a big source of heat loss in the fall and winter. Now is the time to get outside and check all the seals. If you find any broken weatherstripping, replace it. If you find any worn-out or cracked caulk, pull it out and re-caulk the area. Seal up your windows and doors tightly and you should notice an enormous difference.
Indoors, you can check for drafty windows and doors with a match. Just light a match and gradually move it along the perimeter of the window or door in question. A drafty frame will reveal itself in a flickering flame. If the flame goes out, that window or door needs some serious attention.
Wrap the Water Heater
Homes with crawlspaces (rather than full basements) sometimes have water heaters located in those crawlspaces. If that’s your home’s is set up, wrapping the water heater with an insulating blanket will save energy by reducing the amount of work the tank has to do to keep water hot. Wrapping the water heater might even help a tank located in an unheated basement.
Automate Temperature Control
Even the most efficient homes can be made less efficient when temperature control is handled manually. In other words, manually adjusting your thermostat twice per day gets the job done – as long as you remember to do it. But if you forget, you could be unnecessarily heating a home that no one is occupying. Why not automate temperature control instead?
Vivint Smart Home recommends installing a smart thermostat as part of an overall smart home package. If you want something more basic, a programmable thermostat from the hardware store will do the trick. Either way, the idea is to program thermostat changes so that you do not have to try to remember them.
Automate Your Lighting
You can also automate the lighting in your home for greater efficiency. With a home automation system, you can program lights to turn on and off at certain times. You can even program them to turn off when you leave the house, guaranteeing that you will never be illuminating empty rooms. This time of year, automated lighting can save quite a bit of energy.
Adjust Window Treatments
Did you know that you can use window treatments to your advantage this time of year? Leaving them open during the daylight hours allows the sunshine to pour in, thus reducing the need to run the furnace. At night, closing window treatments can help reduce the amount of heat that escapes through your windows. Both strategies can reduce energy consumption.
Cooler temperatures have arrived. Before long, they will turn cold. Now is the time to take a good look at your home’s energy efficiency. The more efficient it is, the less money you will spend on utility bills for the next six months.