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Towards the tail end of summer, there is a slight chill in the air that evokes immediate images of pumpkin patches, scarecrows, and apple cider. Yet, the falling autumn leaves bring the threat of an upcoming winter.
While most winter memories revolve around snowball fights and hot chocolate by the fire, this season can be a nemesis for homeowners without proper insulation.
According to the Department of Energy, proper insulation can severely lower heating costs during the winter months.
Each time you turn on your heat in the winter, it works to warm your home by flowing from the warm to cool areas until there is no temperature difference.
Without insulation, your heating system works overtime to ensure the heat consistently flows from your warm and toasty living room to any unheated areas like garages, basements, and porches. This results in energy bill spikes during the winter months.
Luckily, it is quite simple to lower your winter heating bills by outfitting your home with proper insulation. Try these simple hacks to stay warm and cozy all winter long.
1. Seal Your Doorways
Because of the convection mechanism, heat rises and pulls in cooler air from the outside. In your home, your heating system will draw cool air from the outside if you have unsealed doors and windows.
Cutting down on the cold air’s entry points is the easiest way to lower your heating bills. For a small cost, you can purchase weatherstripping from any hardware store and install it yourself. You can also choose the DIY approach and create your own draft stopper using rice or cat litter.
2. Program Your Thermostat
It may be tempting to crank up the thermostat when you feel winter’s first chill, but your home does not need to stay at 68 degrees all day long. Investing in a programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures throughout the day.
You should keep the heat at a low 60 degrees when sleeping or out of the house and a higher 68 degrees during the mornings and afternoons when you’re at home. This could save you upwards of 15% on your energy bill.
3. Insulate Your Garage
Nothing is worse than the frigid walk to your car before sitting inside and waiting for the interior to defrost. Proper insulation keeps your car protected during the winter months.
As an added bonus, it can save any pipes from freezing and can ensure your garage floor stays free of accumulated snow, ice, or mud.
While insulating your garage could be as simple as weatherstripping any door gaps, you may want to learn more about any cracks, holes, or aging garage doors that could be letting in the cold air.
4. Open the Curtains
During winter, you should utilize natural heating as much as possible to save money on your energy bills. Once the sun comes up, you open all drapes and curtains and take advantage of the free solar heat.
Then, once the Sunsets, you should close the curtains. For further comfort, you can consider insulating curtains. Each insulated square foot of window can save more than one gallon of oil or 1.5 gallons of gas each year.
While the upfront costs of the curtains may be a little higher, they end up paying for themselves in seven years.
These tips may seem simple, but save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bill during winter. No one wants a cold draft to interrupt a cozy night by the fire. Taking the time to install this insulation before the winter can save you time and energy once the season finally arrives.
5. Get the Fireplace Ready
A fireplace is a great way to keep your room warm during winter without investing too much in electricity. But before you lit the fire, inspect the chimney, gasket and make sure it’s safe to use.
Now, you can decorate the fireplace mantel in different ways. For example, you can put a mirror above the mantel, place snowflakes and feathers above or put birch tree-style large candles with greenery at the top of the fireplace.
6. Install Crown Molding
You can further beautify your home by installing crown molding. It gives your walls and ceiling an eye-catching transformation and makes the room look more classy for the cozy winter. Depending on the home layout, you can add crown molding to the entire home, a few rooms, or only one room.
To get the best finish, make sure you choose the right size based on the ceiling height. Such as, for an 8-foot ceiling, the molding needs to be 2.5 to 6 inches wide, whereas, for a 10-foot ceiling, you require a minimum of 8 inches wide molding.
It may be costly and need professional help, but it’s a great idea to renovate your home.
7. Change Cabinet Hardware
Changing the cabinet hardware, locksets, and the door handle is another way to renovate your home. You can start with the kitchen by replacing the old drawers and knobs on the cabinets.
In addition, how’s about coloring the cabinets? It’s a nice winter indoor work that will make you cheerful since you will spend more time inside the home.
Or, if you wish, you can choose a white theme for your kitchen or drawing-room. For instance, displaying white dishware with a black painted shelve or wooden shelve in the background will remind you about the snowy winter.
8. Add Safety Features
Since there will be a fireplace, make sure you’ve taken the safety measurements. If not, then it’s time to upgrade the safety features at your home. Start with checking the smoke and carbon monoxide detector and replace it if it’s expired.
Next, ensure proper ventilation to keep the air quality high inside the home.
Further, to save electric consumption, you can switch to LED lights. They are energy-efficient, durable, and offer better light quality than others. You can also choose colorful LEDs to give your home extra shine in cold winter.