Prepare for winter and save money on energy bills.
Winter is coming, and this means higher energy bills to keep the cold at bay. But it doesn’t have to be this way; there are many steps you can take to prepare your house for the cold months. These steps will keep you warm and save you money in the long run. Take advantage of this advice from your friendly local heating oil company!
1. Switch to energy-saving light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use about 70% less energy than normal bulbs, and only use a little extra energy to get started when they’re turned on. So if there are lights that you leave on for a long time in your house, you should replace them with cfl bulbs to save energy.
2. Stop electrical box drafts. Caulking gaps around your outlets and using a foam gasket behind the cover plates can make a huge difference. Though these gaps are small, there are many of them and over time they can let a lot of cold air into your house if you don’t do anything to prevent this from happening.
3. Optimize your external doors. Even when closed, doors are big holes through which cold air enters and warm air exits your house. If you can see light pouring in around the door, the air is moving through it as well. Stop this air flow by replacing the weather stripping and adjusting the threshold.
4. Block glass “holes” with plastic film. Your windows and glass doors are allowing air to seep through. Lock them so they will be shut as tightly as possible, then cover them with a plastic film to prevent heat loss. You won’t need to open them until spring anyway!
5. Caulk holes in external walls. Wires and pipes enter your house through holes, and the sealant on these areas is not permanent. Check to see if the caulking has worn away, and if this is the case, reseal the holes.
6. Close and clog your chimney. If you hadn’t guessed, your chimney is another gaping external hole. Closing the flue is not enough, unfortunately, so you should invest in an inflatable balloon, which can be purchased on Amazon for about 50-60 dollars. It will block the air effectively and automatically deflates if you forget about it and start a fire.
7. Bring in the heating professionals. In the long run, it will save you money if you hire someone to inspect your furnace or fireplace now. This inspection will ensure that your furnace or fireplace is safe to use as well as emitting as much heat as it should be. We all know that keeping your family safe is a priority, too. The professionals will make sure that nothing is leaking toxic fumes or is worn out and needs to be replaced.
8. Seal your ducts. Exposed ducts sometimes fall apart at the seams; search any in your house to see if this has happened. Seal off these gaps with metal tape.
9. Cut off the heat supply to unused rooms. If there are rooms in your house that aren’t often used(for example, if your oldest child is off at college this year), close the doors to these rooms and close any vents located within them. Why bother spending money to heat rooms you aren’t using? You may as well heat your summer home while you’re at it! (If you have a summer home, shut the heat off there. You won’t be using it.)10. Insulate your attic. Heat rises, which means that your attic is a very likely place for you to lose heat. Have it insulated so the air won’t escape. Additionally, since you probably don’t sit in your attic all winter, insulate the door that leads to your attic and make sure the door closes tightly and properly. This will keep the heat downstairs, in the livable areas of your home.
11. Use the sun. Let the sunshine in! It’s free and warm, even when it’s cold outside. Open your curtains during the day and trim back plants that block your windows from the sun’s warmth. Close the curtains or shades again at night to keep out drafts.
12. Turn down the water heater. You could probably turn the water heater down 20 degrees and still be very comfortable. Give it a try! Also try limiting the amount of water that flows through the showerhead or faucet, and take shorter showers. Think of how warm you’ll be when you get out of the shower and under a warm blanket!
13. Unblock your heating vents. Determine where all the heating vents in your house are located and make sure that no furniture is covering them. If you’ve dropped five pairs of earrings and your life savings down one of them, you should probably retrieve them now, too.
14. Adjust your thermostat. We aren’t asking you to survive the winter in 40 degree temperatures. Just turn your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for eight hours a day. This can be while you’re at work or sleeping, so you won’t even notice it. Your wallet will notice, however, and it will thank you.
15. Buy a space heater. If your family primarily occupies one room, put a space heater there and turn down the furnace. Again, why pay to heat rooms that aren’t in use?
Don’t let the impending winter weather worry you. All these tips will reduce your energy bill and keep you toasty, and we have you covered for all your heating oil needs. Now you’re free to spend your savings on holiday gifts. Enjoy the winter season to its full potential!