Ideas 1 – 7
Old Man Winter is sure to come knocking on your door soon—if he hasn’t already arrived. Here are the first 7 in our series of 21 ideas for keeping him outside, where he belongs!
- 1. Seal off drafts.
Use caulk to seal around drafty windows and rubber weather stripping beneath exterior doors. Preventing drafts can increase energy efficiency by up to 30%!
- 2. Make sure your attic and exterior walls are well insulated.
Heating and cooling your home can account for at least half of its energy use, and adding insulation can help cut that cost by up to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Hint: Need to add or replace insulation? Consider using a greener option like cellulose, mineral wool or recycled cotton.
- 3. Close your storm windows.
Surprisingly, this is an often-overlooked way for keeping cold air out. Just raise your screen windows and lower your storm windows for an extra layer of winter protection.
- 4. Insulate your pipes.
If they’re warm to the touch, you should probably wrap them. Look for pre-slit foam, available in most home improvement stores.
- 5. Don’t forget outlets and switches.
These can let a surprising amount of cold air into your home. Stock up on plenty of foam outlet gaskets from your local hardware store to keep electrical outlets sealed and snug.
- 6. Have your heating system checked out by a professional.
Most manufacturers recommend an annual inspection to save energy (and money) as well as to prolong the life of the system and to decrease health risks from possible carbon monoxide leaks.
- 7. Use a programmable thermostat to control your home’s temperature when you’re away.
For every degree that you lower your thermostat during the winter, you can save up to 3% on your heating bill.
Do you have tips for helping your home stay warm this winter? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave a suggestion in the comment section below.
Trehugger: Greener alternatives to spray foam insulation
Popular Mechanics: 19 Easy Home Winterization Projects
Norwex Movement Blog: DIY Energy Savings – Foam Outlet Gaskets
This Old House: New Insulation Options
Angie’s List: How Often Should You Have a Furnace Inspection?