Winter is just around the corner and Mirabal Montalvo would like to provide the best home improvement advice for our customers and clients for the upcoming cold months. There are many simple ways to save money on home expenses during the winter while simultaneously helping the environment.
Adjusting the Thermostat
Adjusting the thermostat at the appropriate time of day can lower the energy bills in your home. According to the U.S. department of Energy, efficient thermostat adjusting can reduce expenses 5%-15% every year. A programmable thermostat is highly recommended, so you can set temperatures once and not have to think about it each day. When you’re at home during the day program your thermostat for about 68-70 degrees. When you are away from your home for long periods of time (4 or more hours) or at night while you’re asleep, reduce the temperature to about 10-15 degrees cooler.
The most common place in the household for heat to escape is the attic. Hire a professional contractor to inspect the conditions of the attic insulation to prevent future energy loss.
Inspect windows and doors for air leaks and gaps. Sealing any leaks with silicone caulk or installing weather stripping around windows and doors are easy solutions for most air leaks. A quick and easy way to test whether a window or door has an air leak is to use a ribbon. Hold up the ribbon around the edges of windows and doors. If the ribbon flutters then there is a leak where air is getting in and heat is escaping.
Maintaining Air Filters
It is important to keep your air filters clean, and replace them when necessary. It is recommended to clean your filters every month, as dirty air filters obstruct air movement and can actually raise heating costs in your home. Consider replacing filters every six months. Electrostatic filters offer value and efficiency although they are a bit pricy. These kind filters are reusable and easily washable with water.
Servicing your Furnace
Consult a professional furnace technician every fall to have your furnace serviced. Be sure your professional adjusts, cleans, and lubricates your furnace along with the furnace filter. Maintaining a clean furnace can save you about 5% of your home’s heating energy.
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