The arrival of winter weather means the rise of utility bills for many parts of the world. There are a host of different things that people may be unaware of, but that can cause a utility bill to rise substantially. The key to preventing the utility bill from creeping up and surprising you in an unwanted way, is by knowing how to winter-proof your house and improve energy efficiency. The things you do to keep the heat from escaping and the cold from coming in will help to keep your utility bills down.
Check the insulation
Good insulation is essential. Even the attic needs to be properly insulated. If it isn’t, cold air can get into the attic and that will compete with the warm air that naturally rises. Proper insulation also means having adequate seals around all windows and doors. If you have an unheated garage that is attached to the house, make sure that is also well insulated. Otherwise, that poorly insulated wall that is up against the house may bring in a lot of cold air.
Check all windows and doors
Quality seals around the windows and doors are also essential. If you are looking to do improvements to your house, consider replacing your existing windows with double pane or Therma-Pane windows. Although they cost more, the additional cost will be made up in the form of savings on your utility bills. If you aren’t able to go to those lengths, make sure that the seals on your windows are sufficiently tight. Also make sure there are no large gaps around doors.
Invest in some quality curtains
Couture Living create bespoke curtains and blinds for customers in all corners of the world, taking immense pride in the fact that all their made-to-measure curtains are handmade in their specialist workshop in the UK. Full length curtains for your doors can keep out an incredible amount of cold from draughts. If you order before the 3rd December, you will also get them in time for Christmas!
Bleed the radiators
It’s important to open all of the radiator valves to bleed them. When this is done, water and excess steam are released so that the system will work more efficiently. This is easy enough for you to do yourself, without having to call out a heating specialist.
Turn off all water outside
Turn off all of your water outside. Do this before the first hard freeze to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze. You may also want to purchase protective sleeves for the outside faucets. This can protect them from very cold temperatures and potentially prevent a pipe from bursting.
Purchase a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat will allow you to set the temperature in your house so that the heat won’t go on until the temperature dips below the point at which you set it. It is also possible to set the thermostat to a lower temperature at night. You can even set that so that the temperature doesn’t go down until 11:00 PM and the heat comes back on to warm the house up a bit more before you have to get up.
Have the fireplace professionally cleaned
If you use a fireplace as a source of heat, have it professionally cleaned. Creosote builds up from frequent use, and the creosote and other chemicals can potentially be a fire hazard. If you use the fireplace for heat, you might want to consider putting a fire box enclosure in the fire place. By doing this, you may be able to prevent the cold air from the open fireplace shoot from inundating your entire room.
Make sure you have snow removal equipment in a place where it’s easily accessible. Also make sure that you have sand, salt or some other substance to use to melt heavy snow or use for traction. This is especially important in places that get a lot of snow.
Another thing that people don’t necessarily think about is keeping a winter food survival kit on hand. This can include all sorts of non-perishable food items, water and long life milk. You may also want to prepare yourself for potential power failures by purchasing a generator and making sure you have battery powered lanterns, charged battery packs, lots of heavy blankets and long underwear. Winter can be very unpredictable, and the better armed you are for any possibility, the easier it will be to deal with any potential situation that Mother Nature tosses your way.