12 Ways to Conserve Energy and Winterize Your Home

12 Ways to Conserve Energy and Winterize Your Home

As much as half of the energy used in a typical American home goes toward heating and cooling, so help to conserve energy and lower your utility bills this winter by following these simple steps.

Be Smart With Your Furnace (Home Energy Conservation Kit)

1. Set the temperature low – For every 1° you turn down the thermostat you’ll reduce the energy usage in your home by 1-5%. Keep the thermostat set at 68° when you’re at home and 55° when you’re asleep or out for the day.

2. Install a programmable thermostat – Programmable thermostats are great for conserving energy year round. Just set the desired temperature for each part of the day, and the thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature in your home.

3. Make sure your furnace is in good condition – An efficient home heater will help conserve energy and reduce your utility bills. To keep things running smoothly, replace the filter once a month during peak usage and have a professional clean and patch heating ducts.

4. Don’t heat where it isn’t needed – Shut the heating vents and close off rooms you’re not using to avoid wasting energy by heating unused areas of your home. Using a space heater under your desk or in your living room will also allow you to keep the thermostat set lower.

Insulate Windows and Doors (Window and Door Energy Conservation Kit)

5. Seal around the windows and doors – Look for cracks around the windows where cold air can get in and seal with caulking.

6. Double paned windows keep the cold air out – Install doubled paned windows to insulate your home against the cold. If your windows are single paned, you can swap out the screen for glass replacements or apply an insulting film for the winter months.

7. Use the sun – Let the sun in during the day to help heat your home, then use insulating curtains at night to keep the warmth inside.

8. Check the door – Use a door sweep or blankets to block drafts coming under doors.

Small Things That Make a Big Difference

9. Turn down the water heater – Water heaters have to work harder during cold weather, so lower the temperature to help conserve energy. Keep yours at 120° or lower.

10. Use a ceiling fan – While you might think ceiling fans are only good for cooling, in fact they can help in the winter by circulating the warm air that naturally rises to the top of the room. Just keep the fan on the lowest setting to help push down warm air without creating too much breeze (this will be especially helpful if you have vaulted ceilings).

11. Warm the floors – Put down area rugs to insulate your home and help keep your feet warm.

12. Layer up – Instead of going for the thermostat when it gets cold, put on a sweater, find your comfiest house slippers, and throw an extra blanket on the bed.

-Rachel Tardif is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental issues and sustainability. 

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