Even in sunny Big Bear, California, the temperature can drop below freezing and that means you need to take time to make sure that your home is energy efficient for the cold-weather season.
Perhaps the biggest waste of energy is when heat escapes through leaks in windows, doors, fireplace dampers, ducts, wires, and pipes. This is pretty common in older Big Bear cabins and homes. A well-sealed home is an energy-efficient home that can save you as much as 10 to 15 percent on your heating bill. To make sure your home isn’t losing heat through leaks, be sure to check the caulking and weather-stripping. Seal the holes around plumbing vents as they can cause a great deal of heat loss since they begin below the floor and extend upward through the roof.
Don’t forget about attics and basements. These rooms can cause considerable heat loss. Energy is lost through even the tiniest cracks and crevices — so make sure you seal them up. If you have pull-down stairs to the attic, make sure the door closes tightly.
Single pane window glass is another big energy drain for older Big Bear properties. Start shopping now for the best deals on dual or triple pane window replacements and you’ll be ready to have the job done this spring. Be sure you price out the labor involved as this can be as much as double what the actual windows cost.
Fireplaces are wonderful and bring in a lot of warmth when they’re in use. However, when a fire isn’t burning you’ll want to make sure that your damper is closed — otherwise a lot of heat escapes. You may want to purchase an insert for your fireplace that helps to seal out the cold air and burns wood more efficiently.
Replacing your furnace’s filter monthly is a simple way to keep your heating system from getting overworked and using up extra energy. When you change the filter make sure that you also remove dust from vents or baseboard heaters.
If you have fans in your home make sure you switch the direction the blades turn. This is one that I often overlook, but when I remember to do this there is a noticeable difference in the air temperature. Especially in high-ceiling rooms, reversing the blade-direction movement helps to push the warm air that rises to the ceiling down into the rest of the room below, without also giving a cool breeze as the blades do when operating in the opposite direction.
If you’re leaving your home early in the morning, despite the temptation to leave the heater running so that you’ll have a cozy home when you return, turn down the thermostat before you head out. Even though the house may be cold when you come home, keep in mind that it takes less energy to warm a cool house than it does to maintain a warm temperature all day. This alone can reduce your heating costs by 20 to 75 percent.
Even though were about halfway through our long Big Bear winter season, taking the time to effectively prepare your home for chilly weather can save you lots of money.
More Ways to Reduce Winter Energy Costs;
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