The winter months are fast approaching and if you’re a homeowner you have two concerns. First is keeping your home warm. The second is the cost associated with keeping your home warm. Sound familiar? While there are lots of things you can do to cut on costs, today we thought we’d offer a couple of home improvement projects that will help you to save money without sacrificing warmth.
Upgrade Your Insulation
If you live in a newer home, this won’t be a concern. If you live in an older home, the odds of your insulation being slightly outdated are rather high. If you have old or inefficient insulation, the warm air in your home can escape through your walls, making it even easier for the warmth to rise up into your attic and roof and away from your home.
Insulation causes the movement of the warm air to slow considerably. If you really want to spend some time making your home more efficient, you may want to open your walls and replace your insulation with something more modern. Your home will be warmer, you’ll notice less drafts, and you’ll spend less on heating. The same will work in the summer for your air conditioning and cooling needs.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
You’d be surprised at the number of homes that do not have programmable thermostats. This is one of the simplest home repair projects you can do and it can save you tons of money every year, especially if you work outside of the home during the day. With a regular thermostat, you can only adjust the temperature when you are home. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature in your home up and down based on the times of day and the outside temperature.
For example, let’s say you like to keep your home at a comfortable 68 degrees when you are home during the winter months. When you go to bed at night, you turn the heat down to 60 because you’ll be under warm blankets. You set the thermostat to go back up to 68 degrees around 6:30am, right around when you get up, and it stays there until 9am, when it goes back down to 60 because you’ve left for work. It automatically shoots back up to 68 when you are home again at 5:30pm – and so on and so forth.
Programmable thermostats cause your heating system to work more efficiently. Many people would turn their heaters off during the day, allowing the temperature in the house to drop dramatically, thus causing the system to work super-hard to warm the house when you get home. It’s easier to warm a house that’s been kept at a moderate temperature than one that has dropped to freezing – and it costs less.
Create Draft Snakes
If you should happen to have drafty doors create a few draft snakes. This is a simple home project you can do if you’re crafty – and I bet those if you who don’t enjoy crafting could do it, too! All you have to do. All you need to do is get two pieces of fabric that are approximately 45 inches by 8 inches (they’re usually sold that size). Trim the fabric down from 45 to 41 inches and stack the two on top of each other, then fold them in half so that you have a 4 inch by 41 inch tube, inside out. Sew one of the short ends and the long end, leaving one end open. Turn the tube so that the right side of the fabric is out and your stitching is now inside. Fill the tube with kitty litter or sand, fold the rough edges of the open tube in, and sew the snake shut. Place this on the floor in front of your door to prevent drafts. If you really want to make it into a “snake,” glue some eyes and a tongue to your finished creation.
These are great for homes that don’t heat evenly. If you have a room in which you’ve closed the vent to prevent heat from entering (like a spare bedroom), you should also use a draft snake to prevent warm air from entering from the outside of the room.
Home improvement projects to save energy can be complicated – like insulation installation – or very simple. As long as you’re taking steps to improve your home and save money, you’re on the right track
About the Author: Keila Vandevsen and her husband spend a great deal of time on home improvement and energy saving projects. Right now they’re working on remodeling their kitchen and are replacing door gaskets, cabinets, flooring, and wallpaper!