10 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter with Eco Actions
When the weather gets cold, it’s normal to want to bump up the thermostat and curl up until Spring arrives. While that’s an easy solution, it comes with a cost, driving up both utility bills and carbon emissions. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to stay warm that don’t require increasing your energy use.
The key is to make your home more energy efficient. From sealing cracks to boosting your HVAC system, we’ve got suggestions for products and projects to help you stay warm this winter.
Up Your Insulation
The very first thing to do before the temperature drops is check your home’s insulation. That includes attics, basements, and around windows and doors. We spend about 50 percent of power bills on heating and cooling, and insulation goes a long way to help reduce those costs and reduce your carbon footprint. To learn more about insulation, check out our article, Insulation: Where, How and Why.
Check Attic Insulation
Everyone knows that heat rises, which is why attics are a first line of defense for saving energy and staying warm.
Seal and Insulate Windows
Windows can have a big influence on the comfort level of your home. Simple strategies like using weatherstripping, caulk and spray foam around windows can make a big difference.
Weatherproof Entry Doors
Use weatherstripping around doors and windows to plug drafts. Replace your door seals, door sweeps or thresholds to keep cold outside air from seeping into your home.
Weatherproof Garage Doors
When it comes to insulating your home, don’t forget about the garage. Like the attic, the garage is a buffer area for your home, one that can make a big difference in your comfort and energy consumption.
Make sure your pipes are protected against freezing by adding pipe insulation covers. Frozen pipes can burst, wreaking havoc on your plumbing and causing water damage to your home.
If you walk through your house and feel cold air coming in, take a minute to locate the source. Common areas for drafts are windows, doors, vents, baseboards and crown moulding.
Boost Your HVAC System
We rely on our HVAC systems to work overtime in the coldest and warmest months. So, it makes sense to make sure they are up to the task and have what they need to perform at their best and most efficiently.
Get Smart with a Programmable Thermostat
To keep your home nice and toasty and to help curb high electric bills, install a programmable thermostat. Keep your heat settings lower while you are asleep and program it to raise just before you wake. Smart thermostats are easier to program, allow you to adjust your thermostat from anywhere and track your energy use to provide comfort that’s personalized to your home, budget and lifestyle.
Replace Worn Furnace Filters
One of the easiest things to help maintain comfort without increasing energy consumption is the check your furnace filter. A clean filter will ensure efficiency and keep dust particles from penetrating the clean, heated air.
- Shop Air Filters
- Learn How to Change and Air Filter
Insulate Heating and Cooling Ducts
Properly insulated HVAC ductwork is less prone to condensation and leaks. By insulating your HVAC ducts you can ensure that all the warm air being generated by your furnace is being used to heat the living areas of your home.
Enjoy Hot Water Using Less Energy
Tankless water heaters are an energy efficient way to provide hot water for household use. Because they heat only as much water as is needed, and waste not energy on heating stored water, tankless heaters can save up to 70 percent on a yearly heating bill.
Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
To learn more about the different types of tankless water heaters, read the inspiration guide.