Tips for Making Your Home Energy Efficient

How to Save on Home Energy Costs this Winter

By Mark J. Donovan

When fall weather hits it’s a good time of the year to take a look around the inside and outside of your home to see how you can make your home more energy efficient this winter. Making your home energy efficient doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For example you don’t have to replace all of your windows to reduce your home energy costs. Instead if you apply window caulking around the outside of the windows and install door and window weather stripping around the interior perimeter of the windows you can dramatically reduce air drafts into your home.

Fall is also a good time of the year to have your home furnace inspected and cleaned. After a year of use a furnace can begin to operate less efficiently.

Older furnaces can typically achieve around 85% efficiency while newer ones can exceed 90%. With less furnace efficiency you’re wasting fuel and not heating your home as well. Also, if the chimney flue is partially clogged your furnace may be starved of sufficient oxygen to burn more efficiently. In addition, fuel nozzles can often become clogged due to small particles in the oil. A clogged fuel injector nozzle can translate into an inefficient or even non-working furnace. Also, if you have forced hot air heating, make sure to replace the air filters ever few months. A clogged air filter can cause the furnace to run less efficiently and cause undue strain on it.

Also consider installing programmable thermostats in your home. You can save a small fortune by using them. You can program them to a much cooler temperature setting during the day when you’re not home, and a then a higher temperature setting an hour before you get home. They also have weekend settings where you can leave the temperature higher all throughout the day so you don’t need to reprogram them all the time.

With winter the days are short and the nights are long. As a result, you end up burning the light bulbs a lot more. In making your home energy efficient consider replacing some of the most continually used light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

They can save you up to 75% on electricity costs compared to incandescent light bulbs, albeit there more expensive. The trick with CFL bulbs is to use them in rooms where the lights are left on for long periods of time. The more you cycle them on and off the shorter their lifespan.

Finally, take a look in your attic for proper and adequate insulation. Insufficient attic insulation is one of the chief contributors to a non energy efficient home. Depending upon where you live you should have between R38 and R49 insulation in your attic. Installing additional attic insulation is easy to do and relatively inexpensive, so if your attic is lacking sufficient insulation make sure to tackle this project before the cold weather hits.

For more information on Installing Replacement Windows and Interior Window Trim

  • See the Installing a New Window Ebook from  The Installing a New Window Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to remove an old window and install a new one. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.
  • See the Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook from  The Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window trim around a window. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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