Winter is the time of year when staying warm and cozy is a top priority. That can also mean higher energy bills with heating on overdrive and hot water usage on the rise. However, there are some ways to make your home more efficient to help keep your energy bill in check. There are some winter home improvement projects that can not only make your home more comfortable to spend time in, but also lead to energy bill savings.
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Replace window and door insulation
A well-insulated home is easier to heat and will therefore help you reduce your energy bill. One of the easiest ways to improve your home’s insulation is to check for drafty windows and doors. If you see that weather stripping is cracked or missing, then it’s time to replace it. And if you want to sell a house with minor fixes, this is one that’s worth the investment. You can hire a professional or you can do this yourself with a trip to the home improvement store. Remember to target doors from your home to your garage and those that lead outside for a weather stripping update.
Add low-flow toilets and fixtures
Chances are your water consumption will increase in the winter, especially for hot water. You can cut down on your water and energy bill by adding low-flow faucets, toilets, and shower heads. While replacing your toilet can be a job for a professional, shower heads and faucets can easily be updated with aerators that will reduce your water consumption. Another simple hack is to put a bucket or water bottle in your shower to collect water and use that to wash your car, water plants, or wash your windows. When it comes time to sell your home, marketing its water-saving features can also add value to your property.
Go green with carpeting, flooring, and paint
If you’re looking to make the inside of your home cozier, you don’t want to overlook flooring. Warm floors can also make your energy bill go down, but there are some flooring choices that are better for the environment too. Replacing wood or laminate flooring with bamboo can be a cost-effective update that’s also green. For carpets, to give your floors an extra layer of insulation, picking rugs made from jute, seagrass, or sisal that are non-toxic and can also cost less than other rug materials. To brighten a room with a paint refresh, go with zero-VOC paints — meaning minimal volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that can be harmful to humans, pets, and the environment.
Replace light bulbs
When it gets dark at 4 pm, you need to be sure that you have lights that are functional and efficient. One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bill is to swap out your lightbulbs. LED and Energy Star bulbs could cut your utilities expenses by up to 90 percent — as compared to incandescent bulbs — providing just as much light with less energy consumption. Adding dimmers can also save energy while at the same time giving you mood lighting for cozy winter nights.
If you are thinking about making winter updates, considering energy savings at the same time can make your home cozy while reducing your expenses.