Winterizing Your Home: 60 Tip Checklist For Saving Energy And Money

By iScienceTimes Staff on October 15, 2012 10:49 AM EDT

Winter weather doesn't need to mean high heating bills.
photo: reuters (Photo: Reuters)

Winter is almost upon us, and so are high winter heating bills. Use this list of 60 tips to check off all the things you need to do to get ready for the arrival of Old Man Winter.

  1. Windows are a major source of heat loss in any home. Older windows should be replaced with more energy-efficient models.
  2. Drafty windows and patio doors can be sealed with plastic.
  3. Bubble wrap also makes for an excellent window insulator.
  4. Caulk any doors that lead outside your home that you won't need to use during the winter.
  5. Create a draft stopper for underneath doors that leak chilly air into your home.
  6. Install door sweeps on the exterior of doors that lead outside.
  7. Older furnaces are less efficient than their modern-day counterparts. If your furnace is more than a decade old, consider having it replaced.
  8. Have your furnace serviced by a professional to make sure it is running correctly.
  9. Hot water lines should be insulated, and the temperature setting on your hot water heater reduced to 120 F.
  10. If you do not have a gas-powered water heater, blanket it with fiber glass insulation.
  11. Any water lines that run through unheated areas of your home should also be insulated.
  12. Replace your furnace filter if it's more than three months old.
  13. Unblock the cold air returns on your furnace.
  14. Install new weather stripping on your doors.
  15. Install foam insulation gaskets around the outlets in your home.
  16. Programmable thermostats can reduce heating costs when your house is empty. Consider installing one to save money on energy bills.
  17. Uncover all south-facing windows to let all possible sunlight in your home.
  18. Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean.
  19. Move furniture away from vents.
  20. Close the damper on your fireplace (if you have one).
  21. Older dampers can be sealed with insulation, just make sure to remove it when you use it again.
  22. If you use a fireplace, consider an insert that directs the heat into your house instead of just sending it up the chimney.
  23. If you have radiator heat, use a fan to distribute warm air throughout your house.
  24. Replace older lightbulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.
  25. Put a timer on your water heater so that it doesn't run constantly, especially when you don't need it to.
  26. Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets.
  27. Check out the insulation in your walls and attic. Replace anything that's old or inefficient with newer insulation.
  28. Plant a row evergreen trees around your home to break the wind.
  29. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push hot air downward and delay it from escaping the house.
  30. Consider hanging thermal curtains to help prevent drafts.
  31. Install a dryer vent seal so cold air doesn't seep into your home.
  32. There are attachments to vent your dryer inside your home so you don't waste the heat and humidity. (Don't try this if you have a gas-powered dryer).
  33. Windows with wooden frames often have warps that let in drafts. Check and see which windows are draftiest.
  34. Caulk the trim around your windows.
  35. Do not use space heaters to heat large rooms.
  36. If you have a large house but spend most of your time in one room, turn down the thermostat and keep a small heater near where you sit.
  37. Remove window-unit air conditioners.
  38. Close closet doors since there's no need to heat the space. Unless it has exposed water pipes.
  39. Check garage for drafts and seal with caulk or plastic sheeting.
  40. Try to dry all of your laundry in the same time frame. Multiple loads done back-to-back-to-back saves energy since the dryer doesn't need to heat up.
  41. Re-caulk your bathtubs and showers.
  42. Install a cover (like plastic sheeting or bubble wrap) over any folding attic stairs.
  43. Check sliding doors for drafts and replace the seals if necessary.
  44. If you're replacing a water heater, the tankless models are more energy efficient.
  45. Baking foods in the oven can add additional warmth to your home.
  46. Eating hot foods, like soups and stews, help make your home feel warmer.
  47. Dress in warm layers, including thermal, to conserve body heat.
  48. Wear socks and slippers.  If your feet are warm, you will feel warmer and can keep the thermostat set low.
  49. Install storm doors to help keep out drafts.
  50. Use an energy monitor to tell you what appliances are using the most energy. This might help pinpoint areas where you can cut back on energy usage.
  51. Make sure that your duct system is working properly.
  52. Check the exterior of your home for any damaged vents or ductwork.
  53. If possible, install a geo-thermal heating system. The initial costs are expensive but it saves money in the longterm.
  54. Brick homes can have cracks in the mortar. Check the exterior of your home for any areas that need repair.
  55. Worn or cracked shingles leak hot air. Replace any damaged ones.
  56. Seal any cracks in the foundation of your house.
  57. Place straw bales around the foundation as well. These will block drafts and keep your floors warmer.
  58. Install a programmable Energy Star thermostat that will lower the temperature at night and when no one is at home.
  59. Close off rooms that aren't used and shut the vents.
  60. Reverse the direction on your ceiling fans. It will force hot air down to the floor and circulate throughout your home.

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