The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the kids are already back in school for another year. It can feel like a relief for the relentless summer heat to give away to pleasant days and cooler nights. You can turn the AC off and leave the windows open. But you know that winter isn’t far away. You’re only weeks away from waking up to mornings with frost on the grass and your windshield. After that, you can look forward to months of freezing temperatures and high heating bills – unless you start getting ready now.
With some investment in your home now, you can save in the long run, year after year. Always look at the long-term savings on home renovations or investments. Small DIY fixes or improvements like ceiling fans can save you a lot of money on your bills right now. When you consider major improvements like new appliances or windows, be sure to factor in the effect on the resale value of your home when you’re calculating your return on investment.
As far as big investments go, energy-saving appliances such as those included in the Energy Star program will save you money in the winter and all year long. Homeowners with a bigger budget for home improvements should seriously consider investing in Energy Star appliances for long-term savings.
The most efficient energy-saving Energy Star appliances are clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, and dish washers. These will save you money all year long, but you should really notice a difference in the winter when your bills are already abnormally high. Heating-specific appliances include complete HVAC systems, windows, insulation, and seals.
Besides these major appliances, there are also ways to improve the efficiency of your home heating system this winter. Ceiling fans are an effective way to circulate air in a way that keeps things warmer. When your furnace is running, turn ceiling fans on clockwise to pull cold air up. This displaces the warm air that naturally rises and accumulates near your ceiling – where it can quickly be lost through your roof. There are more styles of ceiling fans than ever before and many are quite inconspicuous. Go online to check out the latest options of ceiling fans to fit any home. A ceiling fan will help you regulate temperatures at a low cost to your energy budget.
Some light home maintenance in the fall can also go a long way toward reducing your bills. Applying weather-stripping is a simple task you can do yourself to stop leaking hot air through your windows and doors. It closes the gaps left between the door and the floor or the window and the sill. These are some of the worst culprits for heat loss. Ask at your local hardware store for caulking that’s appropriate for the weather conditions where you live, as they should know better than anyone.
Home improvements big and small can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Stay warm this winter and enjoy more money in your pocket.