We’re now in the early days of winter, and the cold weather becomes more noticeable with each passing day. Colder weather means it’s time to crank up the heat and keep your living space cozy, but that also means a dreadfully high electric bill. How to save on your electric bills in winter? Winterize your home!
We’ve collected 16 ways to winterize your home and how to save on electric bill in winter! Follow our checklist below.
How to Prepare your Home for an Extended Vacation
When leaving your home for vacation, you’ll want to do the following, or else you may return to your house looking like a Frozen-themed wonderland:
- Turn off the water supply to your home.
- Drain your pipes & use an air compressor to flush any excess water.
- Clear out any standing water from your toilet tank & bowl. Use a non-toxic, anti-freeze meant for plumbing.
- Keep your home climate moderate by leaving the temp at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Leave any cabinet doors that lead to exposed plumbing open.
- Place covers over outdoor faucets.
- Wrap any piping in your crawlspace or attic if applicable.
- Caulk any air gaps around doors and windows.
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors. Check them even if you’re staying home for the winter.
By following these steps, you can travel with the peace of mind of knowing that you have winterized your home.
Call Your Local Power Company To Perform An Energy Assessment
In many cases, local power companies will offer an energy assessment free of cost. Just let them know that you’re working on winterizing your home. They’ll tour your residence and make any necessary recommendations to help you winterize your home and be more energy efficient.
How to Winterize Your Home With Water Heater Blankets
Adding water heater blankets is an easy step in the winterization process. Most local hardware stores carry water heater blankets that you can quickly add to your home water heater. Doing this can save 7% to 16% in water heater costs. That said, gas water heaters are exempt from this, as any escaping heat travels through the flue.
How to Protect Your Indoor Pipes
- Keep your home warm. Remember, don’t go lower than 55º indoors.
- Keep cabinets and cupboards open, exposing heat to your pipes.
- Wrap/insulate your pipes.
- Drip your faucets. You can prevent freezing by keeping your water moving.
How to Protect Your Outdoor Pipes
- It’s important to disconnect any water garden hoses.
- Place protective covers over outdoor faucets.
- Shut down any sprinkler systems.
By doing this, you can prevent frozen pipes and enjoy the holidays.
Keep Up With Furnace Maintenance
Furnace maintenance may sound like a complicated step. However, you likely will only need to change your air filters. If you don’t already, you’ll want to do this every three months. A clean filter allows the furnace to run more efficiently and not work as hard as a dirt and dust-filled one. New filters are another easy way to winterize your home. We always recommend this to people who ask for simple ways to save on electric bills in the winter.
How to Check Your Roof for Winter
Next up, grab your ladder. Then, we’ll climb onto your roof for this next step in winterizing your home. You’ll want to look for the following:
- Damaged or missing shingles.
- Debris your roof has collected.
- While you’re up there, you can install snow guards to prevent ice dams if you’d like.
- Another thing to do while on your roof is cleaning your gutters. Ice or snow mixing with gunk in your gutters can cause them to break from the weight.
Cut Back Your Branches
Another big step in winterizing your home is to trim back your branches. If branches hang over your home and cars, they can accumulate ice and snap, causing damage to your property.
How To Save On Electric Bill In Winter: Thermal Curtains
We constantly get asked, “how can I save money on my electric bill in winter?” Another super easy way to winterize your home is to switch out your standard curtains for thicker/heavier thermal curtains. These heavier curtains prevent heat loss and block out cold air coming from your window.
Make A Winter Home Emergency Kit
It’s essential to have a home emergency kit ready, so you’re ready for any possible disaster. These are perfect to create when winterizing your home, as winter weather can keep you from leaving your house and leave you without power for an extended time.
To build an emergency kit, you’ll need the following:
- Plenty of water (one gallon per person per day).
- Several days of non-perishable food.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Manual can opener.
- External batteries to charge your electronics.
- Hand sanitizer, moist towelettes.
For a more extensive list, you can click here to view a printable checklist from FEMA.
Save Money & Winterize Your Home By Sealing Air Gaps
Air gaps are nasty no matter the time of year. Air gaps are simple gaps around your windows/doors that can cause drafts. So by sealing these with caulking, you can help save money on your electric bill in winter and summer. It’s all about keeping out cold & warm air.
How To Winterize Your Home Doors
You should fill your air gaps with caulk, but besides that, you can also:
- Place weather stripping around the doorframe. Apply extra layers as needed for larger gaps in your frame.
- Install draft guards at the bottom of your doors, or lay down towels at the base of your door.
- Always lock your deadbolt to ensure a tighter seal.
Can A Smart Thermostat Save You Money in the Winter?
Are you looking into how to save on your electric bill in winter? That’s where smart devices such as smart thermostats come into play. You can better control your home temp with just a click of a button, no matter where you are.
You can also pair your smart thermostat with smart window blinds. They’ll work together to use natural light to help heat your home and to shut blinds when it is best to keep your home warm.
Don’t Forget to Winterize your Potted Plants!
Your house plants are part of your home. Your plants matter! Not just because you invested your time and money, but they will also help filter your air. Much like your pet, if you’re cold, they’re cold. So bring any plants you can inside.
You can simply wrap them in an old sheet or a tarp to protect them from the elements. It is also suggested not to water them before a freeze. As long as the winter conditions aren’t too bad, they should come back next year.
Protect Your Outdoor Setup
Another step to winterizing your home is preparing the outside of your home for harsh weather. So look at what you have outside, and find storage in your garage or shed. A simple protective cover will do if you have something that can’t be easily moved, like a grill. Next, unplug any outdoor electronics and move them inside. This step will not only help save on your electric bill but also save your items and keep you from spending money on repairs or replacements in the long run.
Ready Your Winter Equipment
Now in case of a winter storm, you’ll want to make sure you have everything needed to clear away ice and snow. Also, make sure your snow equipment is well maintained.
So ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my snowblower ready and in working condition?
- Do I have snow shovels?
- Is your generator functioning? If it’s gas-powered, do you have gas in reserve?
- Have you added a fuel stabilizer to any fuel you keep in your garage or shed that will go unused for an extended time?
The idea behind having winter equipment ready is to prepare you for the worst. Having ease of mind knowing where everything is and that it is functioning correctly puts you ahead of the game. This goes without saying; there is an unspoken competition in neighborhoods of who has their lawn mowed first when the weekend comes. The same goes for shoveling the driveway. When winter strikes, there is nothing more rewarding than being prepared to beat all of your neighbors in this unspoken winter battle.
How Mister Sparky Can Help Winterize Your Home!
You’ve completed the checklist! Now you know how to save on electric bill in winter and how to winterize your home confidently. If you have any other questions or are curious about converting your residence to a smart home, reach out today.
Mister Sparky Electrician Houston, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves Houston, Texas and the cities of Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Spring, The Woodlands and others with a team of certified electricians. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at: (281) 907-8418.