(BPT) – The winter can be harsh in many ways — slick driveways, brisk winds, heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures. Unfortunately, that’s not all — these weather annoyances can lead to high heating costs and energy bills, which can be tough on your wallet. Instead of handing your hard-earned money to Old Man Winter, consider these five simple money saving solutions.
Out with the cold
Preparing your home for winter, or weatherizing, is a simple, effective way to save on home energy costs. Just by plugging air leaks, you can save up to $200 per year on heating and cooling bills, according to Energy Star. A hidden place many homeowners don’t think to look for air leaks are electrical sockets and switch plates on exterior walls. A quick and inexpensive solution to combat these sneaky spots is to insulate with Duck brand Socket Sealers, which serve as a buffer between outdoor air and inside the home.
Don’t throw money out the window
Heat lost through air leaks around doors and windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of your heating bill, according to U.S. Department of Energy. Take an assessment of your home’s condition — indoors and out — checking for failed caulking around window frames where air unknowingly could be seeping out slowly but surely.
“An extremely budget-friendly solution is to apply an insulated film to the windows during the winter months,” says Danny Lipford, host of the nationally syndicated TV show Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford. “For less than $10 you can get enough product to cover three large windows.”
While any film can be a great help, get the biggest bang for your buck with a Heavy Duty Window Insulation Kit, such as those from Duck brand. The plastic film is twice as strong as standard kits and is puncture resistant, but still just as easy to apply. Homes with drafty windows that use a heavy duty window film as part of a complete home sealing and insulating solution can save up to $190 on the annual energy bill.
Dress the part
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting the thermostat this winter to 68°F while you’re awake and lowering it while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.
Instead of turning up the heat, turn it down and grab a cozy blanket and sweats or pour yourself a cup of tea to warm you up. Thicker blankets such as wool and cashmere will be the warmest, while a down blanket can also keep toes nice and toasty. Or, snuggle up with someone you love.
Rise and fall
It might sound contradictory to common thought, but running ceiling fans in winter can actually make a room feel warmer. Ceiling fan blades spinning clockwise in the winter actually pulls cool air up, while blades spinning counterclockwise in the summer push cool air down.
Room by room
Heat can often be wasted in infrequently used rooms of the house. To concentrate the warm air in the areas where you and your family are spending time, close off vents in other rooms and keep the doors shut. Take it a step further and seal off the attic, a big source of energy loss. Attic Stairway Covers are easily assembled and installed — yet are easily repositionable to allow attic access for those moments you do need to grab stowed items.
While there’s much to enjoy about the winter season, the freezing temperature usually isn’t one of them. To combat the cold this year, tackle some simple, cost-effective DIY projects that’ll keep your family warm and your wallet full. For more information on weatherization solutions, visit duckbrand.com.