By: Brian Schutt
In case the last few days weren’t a clear message, it’s winter in Indianapolis. I love this city, don’t get me wrong. But central Indiana is not blessed with a climate that eases in, it comes like a swift smack to the face. Coupled with the Colt’s injuries, this could end up being a long, cold season for Indy.
So, your friends at Homesense Heating & Cooling scoured the internet to compile the best advice on saving money in a climate like ours. Hey, if you’ve got to be inside because of the snow and frigid temps, at least you can try to save money in the process. Some of what we found is pretty basic, some pretty creative, but put together can have a meaningful impact.
Outside of getting a new high-efficiency furnace, there are distinct areas our money-saving tips focus on: 1) get better at keeping the cold out and the warm in, 2) recognizing its winter and dressing appropriately, and 3) using the heat that is already there to help in other ways, and 4) embracing new technology. We’ll look at a couple of areas today and a few tomorrows.
Keep the Cold Out & the Warm In
Seems simple, I know. But much of the heat your furnace is producing escapes because of cracks, lack of insulation, or exposed windows. It may seem small, but remember, you’re trying to keep a heat differential of 50, 60, 70 degrees from the temperature outside. These small cracks don’t have to blow in air to make a difference. Imagine a tiny drop of food color in a glass of water, or a red sock accidentally thrown in with whites – a little of the wrong stuff goes a long way.
– The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 5 – 30% of energy consumed can be wasted because of drafts. So, on windows and especially doors, an effective item is a Draft Snake.
– If you haven’t done so in a while get some silicone sealant and apply around windows and exterior doors frames.
– Insulation is pretty straightforward. Your home needs it, and the more the better in the winter.
– No ability to insulate? Be creative. Put blankets over windows when you’re out.
– Warm air goes through vents – don’t block them. Again, this one isn’t profound, but you’d be surprised with how many homes neglect to keep vents clear of furniture, rugs, plants, etc.
Dress Like It’s Winter
Again, nothing profound here, but it can make a big difference.
– We have socks, pants and sweatshirts for a reason. These extra layers aren’t just cozy, they’ll help you stay warmer. You staying warmer means the thermostat being set lower, means less energy use & less money out of your pocket.
– Another helpful item is a blanket. Same concept as before, they help keep you warm.