Dreading another chilly winter? And the resulting energy bill?
With the first snow of the season upon us, it’s time to prepare for the upcoming winter months.
Here’s how to save money while keeping your house warm:
1. Insulation vs New Windows
New windows are costly and aren’t the most effective at keeping your energy costs down. Insulation is the most cost-effective way to keep your house the right temperature.
Cost: about $500 to do yourself (closer to $1,000 if you pay someone else—compared to the national avg cost of 5 grand to get multiple new windows)
Check with your utility company for possible rebates after a new insulation install!
2. Clean your AC unit
All the changing leaves are beautiful until they disrupt your AC. A debris-filled unit causes damage to your AC unit and ultimately makes it work harder (raising your bill significantly). Use a leaf blower to flush out the outdoor unit—the air should remove any debris, leaving your unit running smoothly.
3. Get Expert Help
Many utility companies offer rebates for services such as an energy audit. Our agents recommend the Xcel Energy Home Energy Audit. For around $150, a contractor will diagnose problem areas, change out lightbulbs, and more.
Cost: Around $150 with possible rebate opportunities
4. Programmable Thermostat
Create a schedule that follows your routine—keep the temperature comfortable when at home and ease up on energy usage when you’re out in order to save money. Another plus is the temperature is more consistent than with traditional thermostats, and some even come with apps so you can control it when you’re away!
Cost: Average $100-200
5. Keep the Outdoors, Out!
Seal your home from the outdoors by weather stripping your interior doors and windows. Caulk the exterior of your home around windows for added help.
Cost: Around $100 for multiple doors and windows, depending on material used
For detailed information about material types, check out the US Department of Energy’s article on Weatherizing Your Home.