10 Ways to Improve Insulation and Reduce Energy Bills

Couple inside their home in the winter eating at the breakfast table

Energy bills can go up significantly in the winter as people use more energy to heat their homes. One of the easiest ways to help lower your energy bills is to improve insulation throughout your home.

The exact amount that energy bills will go up will depend on several factors, including the type of heating system used, the size and location of your home, and your local climate.

On average, energy bills can go up by as much as 30% to 50% in the winter compared to the summer. So, if your energy bill is $100 each month in the summer, you may find yourself spending $130 to $150 in the winter.

Luckily, there are several ways to reduce your energy expenses in the winter. A few include improving insulation, sealing air leaks, and using energy-efficient appliances and technologies. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce your energy consumption and lower your energy bills.

10 Ways To Reduce Your Energy Expenses In Winter

Here are ten easy ways to reduce your energy expenses and save money this winter. 

1. Add More Insulation 

Increasing the amount of insulation in your walls, attic, and floors can help to keep heat in during the winter, reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

The best place to add insulation in your home to save on energy bills is in the attic, as heat tends to rise and escape through the roof. Insulating the attic can help keep heat inside the house during the winter, which can reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the home and lower energy bills. 

This can be done by adding additional insulation to these areas or by upgrading to insulation with a higher R-value.  

2. Seal Window Gaps

Window gaps allow heat to escape from your home, increasing your energy bills. There are several ways to seal gaps around windows to help improve energy efficiency and reduce drafts. Some options include:

Caulking: Use a high-quality, flexible caulk to fill gaps around the window frame and between the window and the wall. Make sure to smooth the caulk with a wet finger or tool to ensure a good seal.

Weatherstripping: Install weatherstripping around the window frame to create a seal that blocks drafts. There are several types to choose from, including V-strip, adhesive-backed foam tape, and door sweeps.

Window film: Apply a clear window film to the inside of the window to create an insulating barrier. This can help reduce heat loss through the window in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

Window insulator kits: These kits typically include a clear plastic film that you attach to the window frame with double-sided tape, then use a hair dryer to shrink the film to create a tight seal.

Window inserts: Install window inserts on the inside of your windows to create an airtight seal. These are typically made of foam or acrylic and can be removed in the summer to allow for ventilation.

3. Update Window Treatments 

Infographic of home, electric bill and piggy bank in the winter

For added insulation on the inside of your home, try updating your window treatments. Adding blackout curtains, blinds, or shades to your windows can help to keep the heat in during the winter, reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

Layering window treatments, such as adding curtains over blinds or layering shades with a valance, can add visual interest and depth to your windows while also adding insulation.

4. Install Draft Stoppers 

Draft stoppers are simple devices that can be placed at the bottom of doors to prevent drafts from coming in. This can help to keep the heat in and reduce your energy consumption. 

Draft stoppers can be purchased at most home improvement stores, or they can be made at home using materials such as old towels or blankets.

5. Replace Windows 

As mentioned previously, old windows can be a major source of heat loss in a home. If weatherstripping and caulk aren’t cutting it, it might be time to consider a replacement. Replacing your windows with energy-efficient options can help to reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills. 

6. Get a Smart Thermostat

You don’t pay to heat your house when you’re on vacation, so why pay to heat it while you’re at work? A programmable thermostat can help you automatically change the temperature in your home based on your schedule, so you only pay for the heat you need.

7. Utilize Ceiling Fans

Adding ceiling fans to your trouble rooms helps distribute air and make everyone more comfortable. During cold winter months, hot air rises to the ceiling. A ceiling fan helps push warm air back down and circulate it through the room. 

8. Insulate Water Pipes

Avoid a burst water pipe in the winter by adding insulation to your pipes. Insulated water pipes reduce heat loss and can even help you increase your water temperature by 2-4℉. 

9. Opt for Energy Star Appliances

Energy Star-rated appliances are designed to be more energy-efficient than standard models, so using them can help to reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills. 

Some additional benefits of Energy Star appliances include:

Lower greenhouse gas emissions: Energy Star appliances produce fewer greenhouse gasses, which can help reduce the overall carbon footprint of your home.

Quality performance: Energy Star appliances are designed to meet high standards for performance and durability, so you can expect them to last longer and work more efficiently.

Increased comfort: Energy Star appliances can help improve the overall comfort of your home by maintaining a consistent temperature and reducing drafts.

Tax credits: In some cases, you may be eligible for federal tax credits or state and local rebates when you purchase Energy Star appliances.

10. Plant Trees

Although many homeowners overlook them, trees are a great way to reduce your energy expenses. Planting trees around your home can help to block the cold winter winds, reducing draftiness and the need to turn up your heat. 

Improve Insulation and Insulate Your House This Winter

Insulating your house during the winter is important because it can help to keep the inside of your home warm and reduce heat loss. This can save energy and money on heating costs, making your home more comfortable during cold winter months. Insulating your home can also help to prevent moisture and mold and can reduce noise from outside.

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