We have been experiencing some pretty cold weather here, with slow, sleet and wintry wind chills that make it dangerous to be outside, unprotected, for any length of time. Naturally, as we use more energy to heat our home, our costs for this month (and the next few) will be higher than normal.
A couple of years ago, we installed new energy-efficient windows and insulated the attic and the basement, two moves that really helped our bills. Still, each year, there are some simple methods that can be used to reduce the winter energy costs even more. They don’t require a big expense or commitment, either.
Here are some of the ways we lower winter energy costs in our home.
Draft dodgers are puffy draft blockers usually made of fabric and stuffing. They have a snake shape and come in many different designs and even characters. We purchased two of these from a discount store several years ago (you can also make them yourself) for less than $5. We placed one at the bottom of the front door and one at the bottom of the back door to block any cold air that might come through the crack where the door opens. We’ve noticed a real difference just by doing this.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation has got to be one of the greatest things for homeowners who live in a seasonal or cold environment. In just a few moments, you can go around your home and close off any holes or cracks where valuable heat is seeping out.
For example, we had an old hole from when the previous owners installed cable, another where the fireplace mantle met the brick, and another around the dryer vent. The foam expands to fit the space, and it insulates well.
For windows, you can use a bead of silicone caulk around the places where the window meets the frame or wall. This will prevent any air from seeping in, and it often needs to be done every few years. These little leaks can add up and turn a perfectly good window into a drafty one.