Do you feel that chill in the air? If you’re like me, you’re drinking hot cider and spiced lattes, layering on your favorite sweaters, and craving heartier meals. It’s also the time of year when Scott and I start closing our windows and start winterizing our home. Our house is an old lady, so there are several things we check off our list to cut down on energy costs for the Chicago winter. Small changes can make all the difference, so here’s our mini list of things you can get started on, even if you don’t live where it gets really cold!
Use your thermostat’s schedule. We have a simple, off-the-shelf thermostat (read: not a smart thermostat), and we schedule when we leave and get home, seven days a week. There’s no need to set your thermostat above 70 degrees if you’re in the office from 9-5. My biggest tip is to turn the temperature down while you sleep, which can save a huge chunk of change over the course of a season.
Consider your window treatments. Are they pulling their weight around your home? By opening your south-facing blinds and shades during the day, warm sun will stream through the windows and heat up your home naturally. On the other hand, options such as Bali Cellular Shades are known for keeping the warm air in and cold air out this time of year! Learn more about these insulating shades on the Bali Blinds Pinterest page.
Replace your furnace filters. Scott’s recurring reminder on his phone says, “Time to change your furnace filter!” Swapping out your filters every four to six weeks during these colder months improves the health and efficiency of your furnace. If anyone in your home has allergies or you have pets, you’ll notice an improvement in the air quality, too.
Seal out cold air with foam. Cold drafts come in all shapes and sizes—especially where you least expect it! You’re likely already sealing your doors and windows, but consider the cool air breezing through your wall outlets! Foam insulation gaskets cost less than $10 in bulk, and you can easily add them to all exterior wall outlets. The difference has been astounding in our home.
Make the switch to LED bulbs. Replacing old incandescent bulbs in your home with LED bulbs will save money on your electric bill. And, you’ll no longer need to run to the store when those high-heat bulbs burn out again. The good news is that LED bulbs are no longer as pricey as they once were—they’re worth your buck in the long run.
Take five minutes to do a home walk-through. How do you use energy in your home every day? Think about where you’re most active, and close the heating vents in the lesser-used rooms. Turn off the television when not in use, and, if possible, flip the switch on your ceiling fan so it blows warm air down.
I hope these simple tips find you in a warm, happy home this winter. In the meantime, bundle up and bring on cozy movie nights indoors! I know our two pups, Jack and CC, love this time of year. Can’t you tell by their faces?
Save money, stay warm, and happy winterizing!