Don’t let high heating bills spoil your winter. Whether you’re curled up in a blanket at home to watch a movie, or you’re starting your morning when it’s still dark outside, you shouldn’t have to choose between drafty air or sudden price hikes for your heating. At Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans, we’re here to help you winterize your home and keep your energy bills well within your budget. Read our quick winter guide to energy efficiency and cutting down on electricity use this season.
What are five ways to save energy at home?
The best way to save on energy is to make sure all the heat stays in your home instead of leaking out through your attic, windows, or other cold spots. Check out these simple tips for more energy efficiency and keeping your Colorado home cozy.
1. Boost your energy efficiency with fiberglass insulation
Any home that experiences severely cold winters, such as those in the Denver Metro area, Colorado Springs and Northern Colorado, needs insulation. Adding thick fiberglass insulation to your home’s walls and attic will create a thick barrier that keeps heated air inside your home. Without fiberglass insulation boosting the R-value of your home’s exterior, you risk the cold winter air sapping away all of your heat. Then your heater will constantly be running without you feeling comfortable.
2. Seal cracks and drafty spots
Just like fiberglass insulation helps add to your home’s envelope so hot air can’t escape, sealing cracks and holes also keeps hot air locked inside with you. Look for gaps in the seal around your window, tears in weatherstripping around your exterior doors, and other leaks where you feel drafty air creeping in.
3. Keep your windows covered
Windows have relatively low R-values, or insulative power, even if they’re double-paned. Hot air presses against the interior of the window and gets chilled by the low temperatures outside. Essentially, unprotected windows “leak” out your home’s heat. Thick curtains, honeycomb blinds, and heavy, multi-layered window treatments can significantly slow down the movement of heat energy around your windows.
4. Don’t turn your heater off
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, the less time your heater spends turned on, the greater the energy efficiency.
But heaters pump out heat to achieve one of two purposes: either they’re cycling on and off automatically to maintain your home’s temperature, or they’re trying to change the temperature when there’s a big difference between your home’s current temperature and the thermostat setting. Heaters and furnaces use up a lot more energy when trying to heat a very cold house than when they’re maintaining a comfortable temperature.
However, if you spend large portions of your day away from your home and don’t have indoor pets, you can find an even more optimal middle ground. Instead of keeping your thermostat set to a cozy 70 degrees, set it lower (but no lower than 50 degrees). This keeps your home protected from the risk of frozen pipes and keeps it warm enough that it’s less energy-intensive to heat back up.
5. Winterize your whole house fan
Whole house fans are important installations in Colorado, especially the Denver Metro, Colorado Springs and Northern Colorado. During the summer, they provide energy-efficient circulation so you can get the hot air out of your home and replace it with cooler, more refreshing air. Whole house fans can even be useful in the winter if you have interior bathrooms and rooms with poor air circulation.
But when you’re not actively using your whole house fan in the winter, it can let in drafts and wintry temperatures. Winterize the fan with a cover that blocks the entire surface. Insulation board or fiberglass insulation can cover the unit from the attic side, so you have a tidy solution that doesn’t let air leak.
How can I save a lot of energy?
These strategies share the same goal: stopping your heat from escaping. While energy-efficient furnaces, heaters, and space heaters can help reduce the total amount of energy you’re using, inefficient tools are only a small proportion of the energy you can lose over the course of the winter. That’s why we recommend winterizing your home.
Walk from room to room and carefully note where cold air is getting in. Fixing up drafty doorways, gaps along your windows, and uninsulated attic spaces help you get the most out of your heated air instead of it blowing away.
Other tips for saving a lot of energy this winter include:
- Shutting interior doors or vents: Whether you spend most of your day in one room or have a guest room you don’t enter for weeks at a time, consider keeping interior doors shut throughout your home or closing the vents to that area. This directs all the heated air in your ducts to where you want it most. Just make sure the rooms stay above 50 degrees.
- Insulate your garage door: Traditional garage doors are thin metal sheets with no insulative value. Add insulation, so heat doesn’t exit your home through your garage.
- Add a moisture barrier to your crawl space: The best way to get good performance out of your home’s insulation is to keep it dry. But moisture from snowmelt and cold winters can creep through your crawlspace and into insulation batts. A plastic moisture barrier blocks dampness from causing mould and mildew.
How can we use less electricity?
By conserving heat inside your home, you can drastically lower your energy demands and, through that, the amount of electricity you use during the winter. With proper insulation and home repair, you’re ready to:
- Withstand blackouts and severe weather that can cut off your access to electricity for a few hours
- Keeping your utility costs within your budget if electricity rates spike
- Protect your home from cold, soggy winters
Keep your home cozy this winter with help from Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans
At Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans, we serve homeowners through Denver Metro & Foothills, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Northern Colorado that want to make their homes more energy-efficient all year round. Contact us today to learn more about our insulation installation services, whole house fan installation, and other ways we can help your house stay warm all winter long.