Keeping your home comfort levels high while maintaining an efficient home does not have to be difficult. In fact, there are several small things you can do around your home with very little money that will increase your comfort levels while decreasing your bills.
Insulate Electrical Outlets and Switches
A lot of energy is lost through drafty switches and sockets. You can purchase small kits at any big box retailer or home improvement store that will allow you to insulate all of your switches and outlets. Depending on the size of your home, you can typically do this for under $50.
Update Old Windows
Old windows can wreak havoc on your heating and cooling system. You may have to spend some money to replace the windows, but in most cases if you choose energy efficient windows you will make that money back in utility savings in just a few years. If you do not have the money to replace all the windows, do what you can and work on insulating the rest. Even just replacing the caulk around the windows can dramatically improve a drafty room. In the winter you can find plastic kits that will seal the windows, helping to improve the efficiency.
Check the Doors
Doors are another big source of heat loss during the winter. Cool air from indoors can also seep out during the summer months. You do not have to replace your doors to help fix this problem. If the doors are in good condition, consider using an expanding foam to reduce gaps around the door frame.
Laundry vents, outdoor faucets, and other types of hook ups can create energy loss. Walk around the outside perimeter of your home and inspect for these areas that could be insulated. Insulating and sealing these items can create a much more efficient home.
A good layer of insulation in your attic will prevent heat from escaping through the ceiling and roof of your home. You can do this on your own with just a small investment in the insulation. You can also hire a professional to blow in the insulation if you do not want to deal with this on your own.
Another way to increase your homes comfort and lower bills is by adding small details such as insulated curtains. These will help prevent air from escaping and can be purchased for around $30 a set. If you have hardwood floors, adding a throw rug to rooms that are heavily populated will actually help maintain the temperature.
At least once a year you should have your heating and cooling system inspected. This will alert you of any potential problems, and can help you maintain your homes comfort while keeping your utility bills in check. If you have a service contract with a company this is typically covered. If not, it does not cost a lot of money to have an inspection done annually.