How to Prep Your Home This Winter For a More Sustainable Lifestyle
We may never be mentally ready for the winter cold to come rolling in, but one thing you can prepare is your home for the chilly season. Getting your home winterized can not only benefit the environment but it can also save you some cash! Prep your home this winter with these tips and watch your energy bills drop alongside the temperature outside. Whether you are a homeowner or an apartment renter, there are plenty of tips and tricks you may be able to use.
First, try getting an at home energy assessment. This can immediately help point out the areas in your home that you could improve on. Though getting your home energy audited does cost a little cash, the benefits can sometimes outweigh the price. You can lower bills, shrink your carbon footprint, be safer & more comfortable in your home, and increase the value of your home overall. If you would rather DIY your winter proofing check, follow these tips:
Get A Smart Thermostat
As we are in the era of ‘smart’ appliances and devices, it only makes sense to make the switch to a smart thermostat. This simple upgrade can really help lower your energy bills. A smart thermostat can be programmed to adjust on your schedule– whether its during the night or while you’re at work, this can save a significant amount of money each year and allow you to be more comfortable in your home.
Change the Direction Of Your Ceiling Fans
If you’re like most people, you probably had no idea you could change the direction of your ceiling fan to blow warm air. Instead of letting your ceiling fan collect dust this winter, flip the switch and start circulating warm air throughout your home.
If you aren’t sure which direction is which, just remember: counter-clockwise blows cool air while a clockwise direction creates an updraft, allowing warm air to circulate.
Insulate & Weatherstrip
This is one of the number one ways to reduce your energy waste and carbon footprint, especially if you haven’t updated your doors and windows lately. Eliminating drafts and weather stripping your doors and windows can really make a difference. You may be able to walk around your house when the weather gets cold and feel the leaks where your home needs a little extra protection.
Try sealing your windows with expanding foam, clear silicone, or acrylic-latex caulk– they are perfect for the cracks. You can also check out the insulation in your attic which could cut your energy bill in half! Some eco-friendly insulation options include: mineral wood, cork, sheep’s wool, Icynene, or shredded denim.
If you can’t get it done this season, try hanging heavy drapes or creating a DIY door snake to help block out cold drafts. You can use the leg from an old pair of jeans and fill it with cotton, linen, or rice. Just stitch or tie off the ends and you have a draft snake ready to use!
Remove Your Window A/C Unit
They can be a pain to move, but removing your air conditioning unit from the window can dramatically change how warm air escapes from your home. If you can’t remove it, try adding a tarp or something over the outside to help block the cracks.
Don’t Forget To Close Your Flue
If you have a fireplace and love using it to heat up your space, don’t forget to close the flue between uses! Closing up your fireplace can make a big difference as it doesn’t allow the warm air to rise up and escape.
Switch to LED Bulbs
This one is a no-brainer and can actually reduce your energy consumption year round. LED bulbs can be up to 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only do they last longer but they are close to 90% efficiency when it comes to light and heat conversion. Switch to LED and watch your energy bill drop.