The short, cold days of winter may require you to increase your household budget to cover the costs of extra heating and lighting. This annual reminder of energy-related spending can serve as an excellent motivator to improve your home’s energy-efficiency. There are several projects that can increase your home’s energy-efficiency, and some of them are especially suited to the winter months.
1. Upgrade your furnace
When you run your furnace often, there is a risk of a malfunction happening at an inopportune time. While you may not be able to predict the need for air conditioning and heating repair, you can help reduce the risk of a furnace failure by proactively upgrading to a newer model. Modern furnaces are far more energy-efficient than their older counterparts, so upgrading your furnace in the winter can drastically lower your utility bills.
2. Install new doors
The windows and doors in your home are the most common places that allow heated or cooled indoor air to escape. While harsh winter conditions may not make it possible to replace the windows in your home, it may only take a couple of hours to install new energy-efficient doors. There are many options for replacement doors, so you can find styles and materials that match your home’s architecture and increase the energy-efficiency of your house.
3. Improve insulation
Another aspect of your home that has a significant impact on your utility bills is the amount of insulation in the walls. Good insulation can make it easier to regulate the temperature in your home, reducing the load on your HVAC system. A great place to start is by adding insulation to unfinished areas such as crawlspaces and attics.
4. Invest in a new air conditioner
Your air conditioning unit may be the last thing on your mind during cold weather, but winter can be a great time to evaluate your AC system and decide whether to invest in an upgraded unit. By choosing to install a new AC unit in the winter, you can be sure you are ready for the warm weather and reduce the chances you’ll need to pay for a repair or replacement during the summer. You can work with a technician or do research online to find information on energy-efficient AC models.
5. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
The light fixtures in your home may account for a fair amount of energy usage, especially in the winter when there are more hours of darkness every day. You can avoid the annoyance of frequently replacing burned-out bulbs and reduce your energy bills by switching to LED or CFL light bulbs. These energy-efficient options require far less power to run and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so you can save money on replacement bulbs and your electrical bills.
If you are like many people, you spend less time outdoors in the winter, so it’s the perfect season to get some interior home improvement projects completed. A couple of projects that can make your home more energy-efficient and lower your utility bills are upgrading your furnace or AC unit and installing new insulation.