This article was last edited on Nov. 16, 2016. For updated information on Energy Credits, visit this post.
The leaves are changing colors, the temperature is dropping, the days will be getting shorter, and the electric bill should be going down all thanks to Fall. Hooray! Feel free to pause and do the happy dance…. Ahem. Let’s get back.
On the flip side of things, fall is the time to start thinking about how to make your home more energy efficient. As you know, an energy efficient home helps keep heating costs down throughout the season. In 2013, the average family spent $2,060 on their energy bill with 29% going directly towards heating the home, according to EnergyStar.gov. We don’t do average, at TaxSlayer, so here are a few home improvements you can start doing now to reduce the costs of heating.
- Become Mr./Mrs. Fix It. Weatherstrip or seal gaps around window seals, door frames or anywhere heat could escape or cold air could creep inside. Upgrade your window panes and insulation in the walls and attic.
- Upgrade that old dial thermostat (really?) to a programmable one. According to the Department of Energy, a programmable thermostat can save you 10% a year on heating and cooling cost. Set your timer to lower the temperature when you are at work or asleep.
- Pull out the dust cloth. Perform routine maintenance on your heating system. Clean filters monthly, check air ducts and heating pipes to make sure they are properly sealed and remove dirt or soot from the system.
- Let the sunshine in. Open your curtains and/or blinds during the day and allow the sun to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to keep heat inside. Weather-blocking curtains are also a great way to keep your home warm.
- Spin around backward. Not you, but your ceiling fan. Set your ceiling fans to spin clockwise to blow the rising hot air down and keep you warm.
You are on your way to keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket and maintaining a warm home. For more ways on how to make your home energy efficient take the Energy Star Home Advisor.