There’s a lot to love about winter in Minnesota. The beauty of a fresh snow, a cozy night by a crackling fire, winter sports and snowball fights, and an excuse to stay home and catch up on your favorite show. But winter also brings headaches, like slippery roads, snow to shovel, and higher energy bills. We can’t help with the roads, but we have a few tips for making your home more energy efficient for winter.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit
The best way to identify any efficiencies in your home is through a home energy audit. Also known as a home energy assessment, this is a professional service during which an auditor uses technology to identify where your home is losing heat. Both Centerpoint Energy and Xcel Energy perform energy audits in the Twin Cities for a modest fee.
Heat gain and loss through windows is responsible for up to 30% of a home’s heating and cooling costs. So if you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, the windows are a great place to start.
When you’re comparing new windows, look at the U-factor ratings. This will tell you how well the window insulates against heat and cold. (To learn more about window ratings, visit our blog post: What is a Window Energy Efficiency Label?)
If new windows aren’t in the budget, look for insulating curtains and blinds, or install a window insulation kit.
Adding insulation to the attic is one of the most effective ways to make a house more energy efficient. This is best done by hiring an insulation specialist, but it’s also possible to DIY.
It’s easy to check for leaks in window and door frames: just look! If you can see sunlight coming in around windows and doors, you probably have a leak. Similarly, examine baseboards and trim for cracks that could be letting in air.
If you find leaks, use weather stripping or caulk to seal them. You can also hire a professional for this project.
Your HVAC system should be tuned up at least once per year. The best time to schedule this service is in the fall, but it can be done at any time during the year. HVAC tune-ups will ensure that your furnace is operating at peak efficiency. It’s also important to change your furnace filter regularly so the heated air can get through the filter to your home.
In addition, consider insulating your water heater to make it more energy efficient. An insulation jacket and pipe insulation will prevent heat loss at the water heater unit and as water moves throughout the home.
Not only do rugs feel warmer on cold feet, but they also help to trap cold air and keep it from circulating in a room.
During the colder months, flip the directional switch on ceiling fans – you want blades to turn clockwise. This will help circulate warm air as it rises to the ceiling.
Open curtains and blinds with the sun to maximize the heat gain into a room. When the sun goes down or moves to the other side of the house, close the blinds again.
What’s your best home energy efficiency tip? Share it here in the comments or on our Facebook page – we’d love to hear it!
If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, The Chuba Company can help! The Chuba Company is proud to be your partner in home renovation and construction. From windows and roofing, to additions and green construction, to bathroom and kitchen remodels, and more, The Chuba Company is ready to help with any home project. We’ve been proudly serving Elk River, Zimmerman, Ramsey, Monticello, Albertville, Rogers, Champlin and surrounding areas for 50 years. Contact us to talk about your remodel ideas or to receive an estimate!
Source: Homelight, “7 Winter Energy Savings Tips to Save You Money”