As temperatures drop, the wind picks up, and thoughts of bundling up to go outdoors drift through our minds. During these colder months, our homes deserve some special and cost efficient TLC. If you have your home on the market, chilly floors or drafty pockets can change how potential buyers feel when viewing the property. You want them to experience your house as their home, warm and inviting.
Of course, cost-conscious energy efficient changes are a win-win proposition: you save on energy costs and buyers see and feel future savings in a warm and welcoming environment.
To get started, consider these top five super affordable and easy steps to winterize your home and make it more energy efficiency while also saving you money. These are just the beginning of easy steps you can take, so I look forward to talking with you at 336-575-7249 to share more about ways you can transform your home into an energy-efficient showpiece that buyers will adore.
Tip #1: Duke Energy Home Energy Audit
If you live in NC, the best place to start with making your home more energy efficient is with a FREE Duke Energy in-home energy assessment. This service, valued at $180, is offered to all homeowners and includes a complete analysis, suggestions to improve your home, and free CFL bulbs, showerheads and more. All you have to do to take advantage is give Duke Energy a call and schedule a time.
Tip #2: Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Almost all ceiling fans have a little used switch near the top of the motor housing which dictates the direction of the blade rotation. While counter-clockwise rotation is great for creating a cool breeze in summer, flipping that switch to change the direction of the airflow in winter will push warm air back toward the floor. This simple, cost-free step can help cut energy bills by as much as 10% by pushing warm air where you stand instead of letting it live near the ceiling.1
Tip #3: Caulk Gaps in Windows & Doors
Drafts can wreak havoc on your energy bills. According to the US Department of Energy, a drafty home can increase energy bills up to 30%!2 Little cracks and gaps can suck the heat right out of your house. A simple assessment of seals around windows and doors, paired with a tube of caulk, can drastically improve your home’s efficiency. To test for drafts, take a lit candle and slowly move it near windows and doors. If the flame flickers, you know you have to reinforce the seals in those areas.
Tip #4: Increase Insulation Wherever Possible
Anyplace there is air space, there is an opportunity for heat to escape your home. Consider investing a few dollars in thicker or more efficient insulation in walls, attics, and even cupboards. If your home has a basement or crawlspace, consider adding to the insulation between floor beams to create a barrier between the home and the ground. One easy way to tell if you have enough insulation in your attic is to look at your roof on a morning when there is frost on the ground. If your roof has areas that are not evenly frosted, you are losing heat in those areas. Up to a quarter of any home’s heat is lost through the roof because heat rises, so extra insulation in the upper reaches of your home are an easy way to see big payoffs.3
Tip #5: Lower the Temperature on your Water Heater
Water heaters come set to a default heat of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is a rare occasion when you’ll need water that hot for any household use. Changing the setting to 120 degrees won’t result in any changes that you’ll notice in the shower, wash, or dishwasher, but will help save between 6-10% on your annual energy bills. For a bonus, invest in a water heater jacket if your heater is located in a shed or garage, insulating the tank so that the reservoir doesn’t have to work to keep the reserve water hot for use.2