5 Winter Energy Saving Tips to Lower Heating Bills

Dec 20, 2023

5 Home Energy Saving Tips to Lower Heating Bills

from Your windows to Your thermostat, here's how to lower heating bills with 5 easy winter energy saving tips.

Winter is here! The good news is, heating costs aren’t expected to rise as much this year as thye have in years past. The bad news: Cold temps are hard on the home and the wallet, no matter what the forecasts say. 

 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), energy loss from your home could cost you as much as $400 a year! And old windows are to blame for as much as 30% of that, making them an important focus of winter energy saving opportunities.

Window Weather Stripping for how to lower heating bills

How to lower heating bills with 5 Winter energy saving tips

Even in a “warm” winter, drafty windows and other issues around the house can cause a dramatic decrease in home comfort. And when you turn up the thermostat to compensate for the chill, you set yourself up for a hit to your wallet. With that in mind, here are five easy winter energy saving tips to help you lower your heating costs this winter. 

1. Replace Your Windows

The DOE says inefficient windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of the energy used to heat and cool your home. And the older your windows are, the worse it gets. As homes settle and window seals deteriorate, drafts develop around the window frame over time.

Replacing your windows can have an immediate, positive impact on your heating costs this winter – but only with proper installation. Look for energy-efficient windows with smart window glass and non-metal spacers. These components create windows that keep energy loss to a minimum.

Improveit’s Performax54 windows are a perfect example. Our Thermostat glass works with the climate, allowing low-angle sunlight pass through, helping to warm your home so your furnace doesn’t have to work overtime. Meanwhile SolarGold spacers and Improveit’s air-tight installation ensure warm air stays inside where it belongs.

Home Remodeling Costs for cost vs value windows

2. Keep the Curtains Open

Speaking of smart window glass, use your windows to your advantage in the winter by keeping curtains and blinds open as often as possible. Incoming sunlight will help increase your indoor air temperature without having to rely on the furnace. 

Having said that, sunlight can also have a negative effect on your home’s furnishings, causing fabrics, flooring, and other finishes to fade over time. Look for windows with at least three layers of Low-e protection to get the benefit of heat from the sun without the damaging UV effects.  

3. Lower (Yes, Lower!) Your Thermostat

Setting your thermostat lower in the winter may sound counterintuitive, but even a couple degrees can make a difference in your winter energy saving efforts. Energy.gov recommends setting your indoor air temperature to 68 F during a winter day, and even lower while you’re asleep or away from home. Why? The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall heating load will be.  

Making thermostat adjustments incrementally can be easier than making a big jump all at once. Programmable thermostats help make the transition easy, so you can “set-it-and-forget-it,” and only turn the heat up if you get uncomfortable.

4. Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Most ceiling fans feature a switch that reverses the fan’s direction from counterclockwise in summer to clockwise in winter. Because of the angle of the fan blades, a ceiling fan running clockwise will redirect warm air back to the floor. The experts at Hunter say this trick is especially helpful for rooms with vaulted ceilings, and recommend running the fan on the lowest speed so you don’t create a breeze. 

summer months save energy on air conditioning and save heating costs this winter with winter maintenance

5. Seal Gaps & Add Insulation

Keeping warm, conditioned air where it belongs is key to achieving lower heating bills. Attic insulation is a helpful addition here. The Insulation Institute recommends 16-18 inches of blown-in insulation to keep homes comfortable in northern climates. Can you see the tops of the floor joists in your attic? If so, it’s time to bulk up your insulation.  

Outside of your walls and ceilings, winter is a great time to locate and seal gaps and cracks where warm air may be escaping your home. These issues often go unnoticed during warmer months, but cause expensive energy loss. Draft-stops and gaskets around doorframes, as well as spray foam insulation to fill foundation gaps and cracks, can help minimize the effects of these sneaky drafts.

Home Maintenance & Energy Saving Tips You Can Use Today

These five energy saving tips are important parts of winter home maintenance, and do more than help you lower heating bills. They can also help you identify and prioritize home improvement opportunities. For instance, If you’re sealing foundation cracks this season, remember to have a construction professional inspect your foundation in the spring. Even small openings can let moisture and pests into your walls. If that happens, energy bills may be the least of your worries.  

As you plan your to-do list, here’s a list of nine winter home maintenance tips to help you identify which projects are easy to DIY, and which are best left to the pros. If window replacement is on your list, be sure to give Improveit a call for a free consultation and home energy assessment. Along with a full lifetime warranty, you also get free annual window inspections to help ensure your Performax54 windows stay in top shape for as long as the home is standing! 

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