The weather is very happy to let us know that winter is coming now we’re in to October. Although some of us may still be seeing a bit of sunshine throughout the day, there’s a definite chill in the air and the cold, darkening evenings are a sign that winter will soon be arriving.
Although autumn and winter are beautiful seasons, they can also be the most expensive when it comes to paying bills. As the temperature drops, many of us will start turning our heating on – and the more you turn your heating on, the more you’ll notice a difference in the price of your bills and they begin to rise.
But don’t panic. The harshest of weather has yet to arrive so there’s still time to get your home ready. Here are a few things you can do to make your house more energy efficient for the winter…
1.Check your insulation – simply adding more in your attic can boost the energy efficiency of your home massively. You need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic and if you’re adding new insulation to your current insulation, make sure it doesn’t have a paper-backing as this can cause problems with vapour later on.
2. Wrap your pipes – this can reduce heat loss and raise hot water temperatures through your pipes which means you can reduce the heat on your boiler and save money on your gas bill by doing so. Wrapping your pipes with insulation will also help prevent them from freezing during really cold nights. You can get pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware stores – simply cut the foam to the length you need, wrap it around the pipe, and fasten it in place with duct tape.
3. Find the drafts – you’re likely to find drafts around your home underneath doors and near windows. If you find an air leak underneath a door all you need to do is put a ‘draft snake’ along the bottom of it – a simple, rolled up towel will work perfectly. If you have drafts near your windows, get some weather-resistant caulk and caulk them from the outside – it won’t take long and you’ll be thankful you did it when the cold weather really sets in.
4. Clean your gutters – clogged gutters can cause ice dams on your roof and lead to melted snow seeping in to your house which will cause water damage. Cleaning out the dead leaves and other bits and pieces from your gutters means water can drain freely and won’t freeze in them. This can save you a lot of money as water damage is not cheap to repair.
5. Add some layers – one of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to put on extra clothes whilst you’re in the house. A heavy sweater adds about 4 degrees of warmth to your body – and you’ll add even more if you sit with a hot chocolate and cosy blanket on the couch too.
Do you have any other ways you winterize your home every year to keep your energy bills down? Leave us a comment below to let us know…