6 Winter Home Improvement Tips That Will Save Energy and Lower Your Bills
Greta Jonyniate | 20.01.12
We love this article from inhabitat, which shows that with a few small changes, we can stay warmer, save more money and reduce our energy consumption in our homes!
It probably doesn't come as a surprise, an uncomfortable home also comes at a high monetary cost. If winter has sent a deep chill throughout your house, you've also probably received an equally bone-chilling heating bill from your utility company. But you don't have to huddle up the family under the blanket just yet - we have a few suggestions that will help make this winter much more comfortable, and maybe even less expensive. We've rounded up some handy tips on how you can easily save energy on heating, and lower your electricity and gas bills to boot. So whether you're a renter or homeowner, check out our top 6 nifty and low cost ideas that will get you saving real bucks over the winter season.
TIP 1: Upgrade or tune-up your heating system
The first plan of action is to actually have a plan. 30% of a average home’s energy cost is for heating and sometimes a lot more if you heat with electricity, gas, or oil. A furnace or boiler tune-up is a good place to start. Changing the air filter and diagnosing for problems that lead to inefficiencies or even carbon-monoxide poisoning is a top priority.
TIP 2: Get an energy audit
Don’t think that getting a new heating plant will solve your comfort and efficiency problems. Heat can escape a home in hundreds of different ways, so it’s worth investigating how your home’s shell is performing, as well as the condition of your ductwork. A BPI certified home energy audit (or assessment) provides the critical information needed to get the biggest bang for your buck, and usually finds important things you may never even have noticed. Contact your utility company to see if they offer a discounted audit and weatherization. After, follow up those recommendations with a quality, professional energy retrofit.
TIP 3: Button up your windows
If you don’t have the money, or are a renter, don’t despair. While new windows and a furnace would be great, what you have now may need only just a little help to save cash and improve comfort. Even new windows are often just marginally more efficient than old ones (compared to your wall’s r-value for instance), but a good set of insulating blinds can double or triple a window’s efficiency.
Reflective bubble wrap foil also works well for a window cover and dramatically reduces radiant energy losses that can make even a warm room feel cold to bare skin. And don’t neglect caulking around the frame if you feel a draft coming through. In a pinch plastic film will get you through the season, and storm windows are often a good compromise.
To read more, go to inhabitat's website, or click HERE
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