Sponsor spotlight: How to reduce your home winter fuel costs

Photos courtesy Irons Brothers Construction.

It is that time of year when temperatures drop, and home heating bills often go up. As a homeowner, you can reduce your winter fuel costs in several ways, ranging from simple, inexpensive changes to significant home modifications. Here are some simple tips to stay cozy, and comfortable and keep your winter fuel costs down this winter.

Thermostat Settings

You don’t have to wear your coat inside your house to lower your heating bills. During the winter months, experts recommend strategically adjusting your thermostat. You can adjust your thermostat manually or install a programmable thermostat to do it automatically on your chosen schedule. Adjusting the thermostat to be as low and comfortable as possible when you are at home and awake can help save on home energy consumption.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), it pays to think in eight-hour segments. You can save as much as 10% a year on your home heating and cooling costs by turning back your thermostat seven to 10 degrees from its standard setting for eight hours daily. Setting the temperature slightly lower when you are asleep or away from your home can also generate savings, so an extra blanket can help you save on your heating bill. Experts also recommend taking advantage of the heat from the sun during the day, which allows sunlight to heat your home naturally.

Reduce Air Leaks

The best way to keep your home warm is to not allow heat to escape the inside of your home. By sealing uncontrolled air leaks in your home, an average household can save 10%-20% on heating bills. Two easy ways to prevent air from leaking in your home are by using weatherstripping and caulking. Weatherstripping works best for movable components in your home, such as doors or windows. The best place to start is by checking your exterior door frames. Replace any weatherstripping that is deteriorated or cracked. If you have drafty windows, install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades.

Another way to reduce air leaks in your home is to seal cracks and gaps. It is best to use caulk, a flexible material that works best on non-moving surfaces. For example, caulk can help seal cracks in areas when window frames meet the house structure.

Beyond DIY

The best way to pinpoint what will reduce your home’s overall energy consumption is to hire a professional energy auditor to evaluate your home and identify all the inefficiencies. Hiring a professional requires an initial investment, but it will save you money in the long run.

In addition to showing where to tape, caulk and seal areas in your home, the audit may suggest improvements that require a significant investment and a professional to address. Adding insulation or upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and products such as new HVAC systems and high-performance windows will also help lower your heating bills.

For more home maintenance tips and other helpful information to save on your energy costs this Winter, download the Energy Saver Guide.

Have a fabulous holiday season and return next weekend for another helpful article from your local design + build and remodeling firm, Irons Brothers Construction, Inc. 

— By Joseph Irons, President
Irons Brothers Construction, Inc.

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