The winter weather brings many beautiful perks: a snow-covered landscape, ice-skating, and hot chocolate. With the good, comes cold weather and rising household costs. Here are some simple ways to keep costs down in your home this winter.
Check the Gutters… One of the first things you should do before the weather turns nasty is clean out the gutters of the fall debris and cover them if possible. A clogged gutter will retain water and become heavy and sag once frozen, leaving room for cold and critters to enter.
Close the Cracks… Another way to help seal in the heat is inspecting the inside and outside of your house, searching for cracks and air leaks and sealing them with expanding insulation or caulk. For older homes, a quick plastic covering around drafty windows or a new door draft stopper might be just the trick to save some dollars from drifting out of the house.
Reduce Your Costs… As heat rises and exits your home, energy costs also rise. By installing insulation in your attic, you can prevent nearly 25% of all heat from leaving your house. Simply reversing the direction of ceiling fans so the blades move in a clockwise rotation, will recirculate warmer air that is trapped near the ceiling. Also purchasing a water heater blanket and turning your water heater down (to around 120o) will help contain conduction heat loss.
Stoke the Fire… Who doesn’t like fire-roasted marshmallows or s’mores and some hot chocolate? Lighting a fire in the fireplace is a natural way to reduce the load on your furnace for a few hours. Store the wood 30 feet from your house to protect from unwanted creatures. And when you are done warming your home, make sure to close the dampers to seal in the heat.
With winter coming early, get your shovels and snow blowers ready. When decking the halls this Christmas, use LEDs to save a few bucks in energy bills. And always remember that your local R.I.A. FCU branch is here to help you whenever you need. Come in and ask about our low rate Holiday Loan and other specials.
Contact us with any questions, or comment in the box with more holiday saving tips. Let’s save better as we Get It Together.