Winterize Your Home – #LearnAndConserve

You may have seen via Twitter & Facebook  over the past week that I am currently participating in a #LearnAndConserve Blogger Challenge. It’s that time of year when cozy is king, but as a new home owner {with a baby on the way!} we are really trying to be aware of how much we are spending on our utilities. When I was invited to participate in this challenge, I knew it was the perfect time to get energy smart, and learn how to save some $$ and go a little greener at the same time!

I will be participating in a series of three challenges, competing against some other Philadelphia area bloggers – we will all be learning about energy conservation & sharing some great info on the blog. Check out some of my favorite tips and feel free to add your own learnings too!

Challenge #1: Winterize Your Home

Heating your home is one of the biggest expenses during the cooler months. By making simple changes, you can stay greener as the snow falls. In order to get our home in shape for the winter months ahead, here are a few of the things we did to make sure our home was ready for to take on the cold:

1.       Seal up the house.  According to The Department of Energy, by reducing drafts in a home, energy savings can range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Check and replace the seals in your house, especially doors to the basement and attic. Try sliding a piece of paper through the crevice between the door and the frame; if it slips through, it’s time to replace the seal.

honeywell

2.       Tune-up before you turn up the heat. A poorly functioning furnace can be an inconvenience, more importantly; it can be dangerous if left undetected. A qualified HVAC expert can help you inspect and maintain the key components of your system, including:

–   Chimneys and Fireplaces: Inspect and repair issues before colder temperatures set in. Make sure the flue damper works properly on your wood-burning fireplace so you can keep it closed when the fireplace is not in use.

–   Filters: Often one of the easiest things to check and change, filters act like lungs to keep the air in your home clean and pure. Replacing “congested” filters helps make sure that your system is not working overtime, using more energy than necessary, to do its job.

Sadly, we don’t have a chimney or a fireplace, so we didn’t have to worry about that but we did have a HVAC expert come in and service the heater in our house. It was a good thing we did this because there were a few pieces that needed replacing to ensure maximum efficiency.

pipes

3.       Be energy smart about heating up. Once you’ve done everything to keep the heat in your house, it’s time to be smart about how you keep warm at home. Combining technology with some tried-and-true tools will go a long way to maximize energy efficiency. For instance:

–   Keep hot air from rising: Turn fans clockwise for the winter to redirect air toward the living space, making the most of the warm air in the house.

ceiling fan

–   Smart ways to keep cozy: Space heaters might be an obvious way to turn up the heat, but they can use a lot of energy and could potentially be a safety risk.  If you’re one of those people who need to be extra toasty, consider energy efficient items like an electric blanket to stay warm instead.  Don’t forget to take advantage of heat generated by the sun simply by opening blinds and curtains during the day to let the sunshine in.

let in the light

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What are your best tips for winterizing your home? Please share!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Patty O December 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Good for you about becoming energy efficient! What a great way to save $$.

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