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7 Winter Home Improvement Tips to Save You Money and Energy
Save energy and save money this winter with these smart and simple home improvement tips. Many are tasks you can tackle on your own this weekend. Then be sure to schedule your professional HVAC tune-up and duct sealing and you’ll be warm and toasty throughout the winter and spring.
1. Seal Your Ducts
The ductwork is an important part of your HVAC system. Prevent the heated air you are paying for from escaping into the hidden spaces of your home instead of heating your living spaces. Sealing your ducts from the inside is the most cost-effective way to save money on your energy bills, and Aeroseal can reduce duct leakage up to 90%.
2. Seal Your Home’s Can Lights
Just like the outlets, recessed lights can be a source of heat loss. Some older can lights were designed with ventilation in order to prevent heat from building up. Remove the ring of the cans and seal the perimeters with caulk. Next, seal the inside of the cans with caulk or aluminum tape. Be sure to replace any incandescent bulbs with LEDs which are energy efficient, dimmable and, most importantly, don’t generate heat.
3. Look for Insulation Gaps
Check the outside faucets, air vents, and plumbing — anyplace where something pierces the wall — for gaps where air can escape. Use expanding foam to completely seal the area. Check around the outside of your home, where the foundation meets the house, for any gaps and seal those as well.
4. Check Your Windows and Doors
Seal around window frames with caulk and around doors with weatherstripping.
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat makes even a high-efficiency furnace more efficient, by allowing you to automatically adjust the temperature in your home for the time of day or the time of year to best fit your family’s lifestyle. Smart thermostats come in many varieties and price ranges, and getting one can save the average household about $180 a year if it’s used correctly.
6. Check and Tune-Up Your HVAC System
Ideally, by now you’ve had this year’s annual professional maintenance of your HVAC system performed. But, if you haven’t, it’s not too late! Getting your system cleaned and tuned up each year prevents a multitude of problems. A well-maintained system uses less energy, prevents carbon monoxide leaks and improves the quality of your indoor air. Perhaps most importantly, replace the air filter every one to two months to keep your system functioning efficiently.
7. Seal Your Walls
Unseen gaps around electrical outlets and switches can allow a surprising amount of heat loss. Remove the faceplates and use a high-quality caulk to seal the place where the boxes meet the drywall.