(Family Features) Winter is a time of year when many people are looking for ways to be warm and cozy to combat the chilly temperatures outside. It’s also the time of year when energy bills can skyrocket. Focusing on energy efficiency can help you keep your home temperature comfortable and your energy bills at bay while also reducing your carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency means using less energy to accomplish the same tasks while cutting energy bills and reducing pollution in the process. Particularly during the winter months, heating costs are traditionally higher because it requires more energy to keep your house at a specific temperature when the temperature outside is lower.
With Americans slated to spend an average of $746 on natural gas this winter, according to the Energy Information Administration’s “Winter Fuels Outlook,” now is a perfect time to focus on energy efficiency. Consider these ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency without breaking the bank this winter from the experts at Best Pick Reports.
Be sure all vents and registers throughout your home are clear of obstructions. Checking that all plugs, vents and appliances are in safe, working order can also help improve efficiency and prevent potential hazards. Also consider hiring a professional annually to tune up your HVAC system, tighten electrical connections and check controls to ensure they are working properly and safely.
It’s important to replace old light bulbs and appliances in your home with newer, energy-efficient ones. Using LED light bulbs in place of traditional incandescent bulbs can save homeowners about $225 in energy costs each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can also install timers to ensure you’re only using electricity when needed.
Whether you love spending time in the kitchen or you’d rather leave the cooking to someone else, you can make your kitchen a greener space by installing energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers.
Install insulation in and around windows, walls and doors to decrease heat flow from warmer spaces to colder ones, helping to maintain your home’s temperature and lower your heating and cooling costs. Also insulate your water heater with a blanket or cover and check the insulation in your attic, basement, walls and crawlspaces for leaks.
Adding rugs or carpet to hardwood floors and ceramic tiles can help prevent drafts and make the room feel cozier. Installing double-paned windows can also help prevent cold air from leaking into your rooms while opening blinds and curtains during the day to let in light can naturally heat up the space.
A space heater is a simple option for heating up a single chilly room for a short amount of time, which makes it perfect for those looking to save money and energy. Some space heaters are designed specifically for energy efficiency. They use infrared technology to heat rooms, sensing spots that need heat and distributing it accordingly by heating objects instead of filling the space with heat.
Every winter, be sure to take action to make your home more energy efficient. You don’t have to do it alone, however. You can hire a professional to help you with energy efficiency projects; just be sure to do your homework. Look for unbiased customer reviews on independent business directories review websites like Best Pick Reports and Five Star Rated. These printed directories and online sites often use a combination of third-party research and consumer reviews to rate contractors. Some even offer guarantees on the quality of work.
Once you have everything in place, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on heating costs this winter without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Find more tips and information about service providers in your area at BestPickReports.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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