1. Install Weatherstripping
Check for drafts in your doors and seal them by installing foam or felt weatherstripping inside the door frame. This will go a long way in keeping you warm and making sure you aren’t wasting money letting the warm air out!
2. Install a Door Sweep
You can also help to eliminate cold air from entering the home by installing a door sweep under an exterior door to stop drafts. A sweep is a flexible piece of rubber or plastic that’s held to the door’s lower edge by a strip of aluminum.
3. Close the Damper
Hot and cold air flies up the chimney when you leave the fireplace damper open. Be sure to shut the flue after the fireplace has cooled on those cold winter nights.
4. Insulate the Water Heater
Save on fuel by wrapping older water heaters in a blanket of insulation. This is an easy DIY project that most people haven’t heard of. (When insulating a gas or propane water heater, do not cover the burner access)
Do not insulate:
- Pre-insulated water heaters. These are newer units with factory-installed insulation of R-16 or better (check the manufacturer’s label) under the metal shell.
- Water heaters located where the added heat is welcome.
- Water heaters whose manual or paperwork warns against insulating.
- Tankless (on-demand) water heaters.
5. Lower the Hot Water Temperature
Water heaters are normally set at 140 degrees. You can lower the temperature to 120 degrees for fuel savings and still get the warm water temperature you desire.
6. Plug Household Leaks
Inspect your house and find all locations where there are cracks or holes and use caulk for small cracks and the foam sealer for bigger gaps. Don’t forget to check openings around appliance vents, electrical and plumbing fixtures and furnace ducts.
7. Use your Window Coverings
You would be surprised how much insulation can be provided by curtains, drapes, shades and even blinds. Draw window coverings at night and when you’re away to conserve heat in the home. (Also, in hot weather, draw window coverings in the morning to keep the house cool, saving money on air conditioning.)