Worried about safety issues or high energy bills due to inefficiencies in your home’s appliances or heating system? The following 5 quick winter home improvements will pay dividends.
1. Wrap that water heater. If you have a traditional electric tank storage water heater, it may benefit from a blanket. Put your hand against the outside of the tank. If it feels warm, it may not be as energy efficient as it could be. Check out this guide for everything you need to know about the process and its benefits.
2. Make sure your carbon monoxide (CO) detector works properly. Gas and wood burning stoves and fireplaces can elevate CO levels to dangerously high levels. Beyond properly maintaining appliances, functioning CO detectors provide additional peace of mind.
3. Replace the air filter in your furnace. Filters coated with dust reduce air flow and make the unit run harder so change filters every three months for optimum efficiency. Buy a couple when they’re on sale so you always have them handy.
4. Install a programmable thermostat. Save on your heating bill by installing a programmable thermostat. According to the EPA, “By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees F. for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.”
5. Close the fireplace damper when not in use. This one action, which doesn’t cost you anything, prevents warm air from flowing upwards and keeps it in the room where you want it. For more information on heating and cooling efficiently, visit Energy Star.
What are your thoughts on these 5 quick winter home improvements? Have any more? Share them in the comments!