Is your home as energy efficient as it can be in winter?

photo credit: Sky Noir

photo credit: Sky Noir

Perhaps you have moved into a new house and you’re wondering how you can remain comfortable now that the cold season has come. Energy-saving is a big subject, and even if you think you know everything about it, there’s always more that you can do to save on your electric bill. Perhaps your old-house was insulated and as efficient as it could be – but that’s all in the past. Each house has its own challenges when it comes to optimizing it for maximum energy savings. The issue is compounded by the fact that it might not be readily apparent where your house is leaking energy and so it’s hard to make long-lasting changes right away. But don’t fret! Take it easy and make a list of your priorities. This way you can go about optimizing for energy saving, step by step.

Same size, different challenges

Even if the new house that you have moved in is the same size as your old one, rest assured that what worked there is probably not going to work here. It’s unlikely that your new residence has the same layout and schematics. That’s why you can’t use the same tricks as you used on your old one. Other things that could affect energy savings is the number of trees (or lack of) that surround your house. Having many trees means lots of leaves and besides requiring additional work in the form of raking, these leaves can clog the gutters which in turn can result in ice dams forming and water flowing all over the place once warmer weather kicks in. Adding gutter pads is one solution to deal with this.

If your house has older type windows made of wood, you will find that such a configuration doesn’t exactly keep the frost at bay. A couple of suggestions: seal them off and look out for air leakages and get a pair of heavy cloth curtains on them. They will keep efficiently away the cold and you don’t have to sacrifice looks either – you can find a wide assortment of different curtain styles at your local home depot. You will want to get curtains that have multiple layers of cloth with a plastic addition at the bottom which is supported by magnets. These are special draperies that you can buy if you look around long enough. Consider ordering online if you have no luck finding them locally.

Small changes, big wins

Other tricks you can implement to optimize energy-efficiency is to set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise so that the warm air is kept in the rooms and not expelled outside. Roof ventilation is another “small-big” change you can implement to make winters more pleasant. Check out http://littleenginesthatcan.com/ for more ideas on how to optimize for energy efficiency.

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