Prepare Now, Save Later
In August, one of the last things we want to do is think about the winter months ahead. However, taking advantage of warm weather now, can save you money and time when the inevitable winter arrives. There are many different tricks and tips for saving on your heating bill, and your friends at NorthRidge want to help prepare you!
- Install Weatherstripping – You can find affordable options of weatherstripping at hardware stores. You place the weatherstripping inside the door frame, and it can help stop cold drafts from entering your home. One easy trick to testing for drafts is lighting a candle near your door frame, if the flame blows towards you then there is a draft coming from the door.
- Update to a Programable Thermostat – According to EnergyStar.gov, you can save up to $180 a year on fuel costs. If your home is empty for consistent time periods during the week, you can automatically have the temperature lowered during the workday and brought back up to temp even before you come home from work. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a new thermostat, even setting the time down as you leave, and increasing it when you arrive home can save you money. Especially if gone for several hours or days.
- Replace Your Furnace Filter – Having a dirty furnace filter will reduce your furnace’s efficiency and raise your month heating bills. Depending on the quality of your filter, you should change it monthly or every 3 months during the winter. Pleated filters will trap more dirt particles. This also makes your air in your home cleaner and healthier.
- Plug Household Leaks – We often forget to check for leaks and gaps in our home’s exterior until it is too late, and the temperatures don’t allow helpful repairs. Take advantage of warm weather to inspect your home’s exterior. Check for gaps and cracks in siding, windows and foundation. Then seal those issues with foam gap-sealer or caulk as need be. Even small gaps and cracks can greatly reduce your homes efficiency.
- Insulate Hot Water Pipes – We often don’t think about the little things like our hot water pipes but insulating them can help improve your water heater’s efficiency. As the warm water travels through your exposed pipes, the water starts to cool down. Which means you will need more water to heat up the pipes alone. Measure your pipes’ diameters and lengths and bring those to the store to get the right size insulation.
There are many different tips and tricks we can use to prepare for winter, but the best tip is staring early! Often, we wait until the cooler weather arrives, and must power through any last-minute preparations. Use the warmth of August to “enjoy” preparing for winter. If you realize your home could truly benefit from bigger projects, such as more insulation and new windows, don’t forget your friends at NorthRidge Community Credit Union can help you with those bills! There are many different options from a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), 2nd Mortgage, or even a personal loan to help cover your costs. For more tips and tricks, and even a home assessment check out: https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/assessYourHome