Yesterday on the 10pm news, the weather man said that at midnight we had reached the midpoint of winter! So what does that mean exactly!??! Ohhhh....we probably have at least another 8 weeks to go, at least here in the Midwest USA. For those of us that don't like the cold and snow sorry to be the bearer of bad news. For those of you that like the cold and snow, you have about 8 weeks left to enjoy it!
Anyway, I was reading the Winter edition of my homeowner's insurance newsletter and there was an article about a "Season of Savings". It talked about the winter prep routine that many of us go through each winter to get our homes ready for winter. The removing of screens to prevent snow buildup, changing the furnace filter, closing the blinds or curtains at night to keep the heat in the house. Did you know that even in the winter time when the sun is shining it is good to open your blinds or curtains to let the sun come in the house because it will produce some heat in the house? But you have to remember to close the blinds or curtains as soon as the sun sets so that the heat stays in the house!
They go on to list seven easy things that you can do that could net you savings of hundreds of dollars. Most of these I am sure are "no-brainers" for most of us but it doesn't hurt to be reminded of them.
Here is the list:
- Seal leaks. All hidden air leaks have the same effect as an open window. Use insulation, chalk, or weather stripping especially in the basement, attic, around ducts, doors and windows. My hubby and I just put some rope chalk around a couple of our basement windows that were leaking and it made a difference of 2 degrees warmer in the room!
- Install a programmable thermostat. We did this several years ago and we have it programmed at one temp during the day and another one at night. In the summer time, when we know that we are going away on vacation we set it for a temp where we know the a/c will not run all the time but still keep the house from being too muggy when we get home.
- Don't waste wattage. Did you know that unplugging appliances or even cell phone chargers that are not in use you could save yourself some money?? Those things still "leak" energy out even if they are not in use.
- Change bulbs. Replace your most frequently used incandescant light bulbs with compact fluorscents. Just remember if you use the compact fluorscent bulbs and they break or burn out do not put them in your trash, find a hazardous waste disposal as there is mercury in the bulbs.
- Get fan-atic. Ceiling fans are great to have because they improve comfort and save energy. Just remember to switch it to reverse instead of forward because that will help to circulate the warm air that rises to the ceiling. We have a ceiling fan with a light in each of the bedrooms in our house and it has helped a lot in making the room have more constant temperature.
- Buy energy-smart. If you have to replace appliances, choose Energy Star models. They are the same as the other versions but have met strict efficiency guidelines.
- Maintain heat and water systems. Make sure you tune up your furnace at the change of seasons. Also insulating/wrapping your water heater can save you up to 9% in water heating costs.
Like I said simple, easy things to do that will help us save money during the cold winter months!
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