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Cost Savers

Winter Survival Tips for New Homeowners

If you’re a new homeowner who's toughing out the first winter in your new home, you know that those frigid blasts of air can make your energy bills costly. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help stabilize and even lower your bills this winter.
Couple Sitting on Living Room Couch Trying to Survive Winter

Photo by: American Home Shield

Let's start with the thermostat. Yes, everyone knows that the high-tech Nest Thermostat can do wonders for managing your energy bills, but even a regular programmable thermostat can lower your bills significantly. Most folks are out of the house by 9am and back again by 6pm. If this sounds like your family, program your thermostat to lower itself to 62 degrees while you're gone, and then back up to 68 when you get home. Then, program the thermostat to 63-65 around bedtime and back to 68 at 6am. By lowering your heat seven to 10 degrees more than usual for eight hours a day, you can save up to 10% on your heating bill.
 


Next on the list is your water heater. Did you know if you replace your old water heater with a new Energy Star-qualified heater, you could save up to 50% on your heating bills? That huge savings can help your new water heater pay for itself.
 
Next, consider your home’s insulation. By properly insulating your home and sealing up your basement and attic, you can save up to 10% on your annual energy bills. You can call an insulation company to install your new insulation—or, if you're handy, it's simple to do it yourself. Walk around the outside of your home, looking for any openings or cracks in the foundation or siding, sealing with spray foam as you go. As for those vented crawl space windows with screens, just cut board insulation to size, push those insulation squares into each little window and spray-paint them to match your home’s exterior.

The last—but certainly the easiest and least expensive—tip is to shut off rooms or levels of your home that aren't being used. If you have a few rooms you rarely use, just close those vents and shut the doors so that you're only heating the rooms you do use. Remember, heat rises, so by using your second story in the evenings and mornings (if you have one), you can set your thermostat even lower.

Stay warm and save money this winter!

See also:
5 Ways to Cut Your Heating Costs
Energy Tip: Prepping Your Home for Winter
Keep Your Pets Safe in Cold Weather

 


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