I’m always surprised by how quickly my home turns from warm and sunny to cool and drafty. If you live in an old house like me, you know what I mean. So, how can we ease the transitions from summer to fall without simply turning on the heat and hunkering down for the winter?
There are a few really simple money- and energy-saving tricks that I’d like to share.
Get an energy audit. Your local utility company—for a small fee—will come and assess your home, taking note of the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, doors and windows, and insulation. They can tell you where you’re losing the most energy (and money) and offer options for improvement, including discounts on more efficient doors and windows.
If you can’t afford to replace drafty doors or windows, now is the time to weather proof them. There are various ways to prepare your windows for winter—everything from plastic sheeting to weather stripping and new layers of insulation. Take your pick! For doors, it’s easy to create a heavy, fabric “snake” to block the crack where warm air escapes and cool air comes in.
The sun is your greatest ally. Don’t close those curtains during the day! When the sun is shining, let it in. It will warm up the home considerably and save you money on electricity costs.
Keep your thermostat on a timer. If you must turn on the heat—especially at night when it is coolest—keep it a steady temperature and on a timer so that a) there is a consistent flow of even energy distributed and b) you won’t have to remember to turn the heat off again in the morning.
Lastly, dress yourself and your home for fall. Wear socks. Wear long sleeves. Add a rug to a wood floor and replace thin, summer curtains with heavier drapes that you can close at night.
The transition to fall doesn’t need to be a painful (or cold) one. Be smart about how you prepare your home for winter and you’ll have a few more comfortable months before you even have to consider turning on the heat!
Contributed by Liz McEwan, Event Coordinator