Home heating costs have skyrocketed over the past few years, with little relief in sight.
Rather than shake your fist at your energy bill this winter, take control of it by making simple, cost-effective changes that can help you keep your home warm without burning through your wallet. (Prices that follow may vary by location.)
Seal, seal, seal (cost: $3–$15 per unit)
The number one way cold air enters a home is through cracks and loose seals around windows and doors. Applying caulk and weather stripping is an easy solution for this big problem.
Add film ($15–$30)
Speaking of windows, don’t forget about the panes themselves. With most window film, you simply cut it, tape it, and then seal it to the pane with a hair dryer to help keep the cold out all winter long.
Buy a snake (<$10–$25)
A common solution to drafty doors is a draft stopper, sometimes called a snake because of its appearance. Just attach it to or place it in front of an exterior door to block the cold while also adding a touch of style.
Lower your thermostat (Free)
Energy.gov recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees for the best combination of comfort and savings. In fact, turning it back 7–10 degrees from its normal nightly setting year-round can save you an estimated 10 percent on energy costs.
Prevent heating barriers (Free)
Your heating system works hard to keep your whole house warm, and a simple step to ensure its efficiency is to give it space. Check that your furniture isn’t blocking the heat source in each room, especially if you have floor vents.
Be intentional with shades (Free)
Sunlight is our planet’s free heat source, so take advantage of it by opening your curtains and blinds on sunny days and closing them on dark days and at night. Also, remember to swap in thicker seasonal curtains to further keep the cold out.
Turn on ceiling fans (Free)
If you have ceiling fans, running them clockwise while on low will pull cool air up and push warm air down, making your rooms more comfortable.