Some people just accept winter with all its doldrums, the blues and higher electric bills! They never give the idea of “green” winterizing their homes a second thought. If you take time to incorporate some quick green tips to winterize a home though, you will be conserving energy as well as saving money on your home heating bill.
Beat the Draft
Energy is wasted when there are drafts in homes. There are simple, economical measures that can be taken to ensure that you are utilizing simple green tips to winterize your home. The most basic is to beat the draft.
Weather stripping is not just for the frame of doors. Put your hand at the bottom of the doors to your home or apartment . Feel the draft? That is money and energy going out with the wind. Simple peel-off strips are available to attach to the bottom of your door to keep the cold air out and give you a lower heating bill.
You may think of applying plastic over windows, but there are hidden energy wasters in your home. Place your hand under the bottom of the window sill. In older homes, especially, there can be a significant draft. Either apply foam or tape in the space to beat the draft.
The next draft guzzler is your electrical outlets. Unplug everything in your outlets, one-by-one. Place your hand near, but not directly on, the outlet. Feel that cold air? That is more of your money and energy going to waste. There are very inexpensive covers made for outlets to help seal them from the winter cold, which take seconds to install. Be sure to follow instructions and this simple green tip to winterize your home will cut down on your heating costs.
Before taking measures to beat the draft, make sure you only use measures that are safe, as improper usage of some materials can lead to fire.
Vents and Filters
Providing clean furnace filters, especially those specially treated to fight allergens will save on energy costs, can prevent a fire, as well as improving air quality in your home or apartment.
Don’t forget the dryer vent and filter. It is imperative to clean the filter after every use. Dirt and debris trapped in a clogged dryer vent can be very hazardous, so make sure the vent is also cleaned regularly.
That Cold, Dark, Damp Space
Otherwise known as the basement in many of your home, this is a place where you can be losing energy and spending unnecessarily unless steps are taken to effectively green winterize the basement.
If the water heater is located in a cold basement, wrapping it in a special “blanket” of insulation, available at your local home products store is well worth the cost, as it will enable the water heater to hold its heat more effectively, which will result in a more efficient water heater.
For basement drafts, make sure to seal the basement windows when sealing other windows in the home. Find the source of drafts and plug them to keep cold air out and warm air in.
Out in the Bitter Cold
It is just as important to spend a little time and effort to green winterize the outside of your home, just as it is to make sure that the inside of your home is winterized. Walk around the premises. Check for cracks in wood and caulk. Repair or replace missing siding pieces.
Install your storm doors and windows before the temperature drops really low. That way, you can be sure you will be spending far less on energy costs if you know ahead of time that you need to replace any storm windows or doors.
Finally, do not wait until the dead of winter to change your outdoor bulbs. Be sure to install the energy efficient bulbs to do your part to save energy, as well as money.
By following just a few tips to green winterizing your home, you save energy, save money, may qualify for a tax credit and feel good about doing your part in “going green.”