Save Energy this Winter with These 5 Energy-Crunching Tips

Increase your home's energy efficiency this winter with these 5 simple tips.  Preventing the waste of energy is always the first step forward to making your residence greener. Follow these simple and affordable tips below and start saving money on your energy bills this year.

1. Stop air from leaking from your windows

Did you know that leaking air from your windows can make up 25% of your utility bill? In order to stop these leaks take a walk around your home and feel for any drafts that may be coming from the windows. If there's no breeze outside another thing you can do is hold a candle close to the window and see whether the smoke rises straight up as it's supposed to or whether it curves towards the window. If the smoke travels in the direction of the window, look for cracks in the area and fix them before the colder weather arrives.

2. Clean and service your appliances

Make sure that your appliances are clean and are up to date on any servicing required. Your furnace should be checked once yearly and the filters should be changed every month during the winter. You should also make sure that the filters on your registers are clean, and that any space heaters or baseboard heaters have been cleaned and are ready to go.

3. Purchase a digital thermostat

This is a very low-cost way to make sure that your thermostat is always set correctly. You may also want to consider getting a programmable one so that you can lower the heat during the hours of the day when you aren't in the home and when you're sleeping at night. This can add up to a lot of savings when it's done throughout the year to save on heating and cooling costs.

4. Let the sun shine in

The more sun you allow to stream into your home during the day the less you'll have to run your furnace. Find the windows in your home that let in the most sunlight and make sure that your window coverings can adjust to allow at least some sunlight into the home during the daytime hours.

5. Keep strict rules in place

There should be rules in place regarding the amount of energy being consumed in the home and everyone in the house should be in agreement with them. For example, if you let your children know that the thermostat will be set at a certain temperature and this cannot be changed, your kids will learn to reach for a sweater when they get cold instead of begging you to turn up the heat!

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