Home Winter Preparation Checklist – How to Reduce Heating Bill

With winter come a number of headache-causing issues such as higher heating bills. Prepare your home for the cold by going through our winter preparation checklist.

General Winter Preparation Tips

Ceiling Fan Warm Air Trick

Ceiling Fan
Switch the directions of the blade so that they spin clockwise. This will help bring down the warm air down from the ceiling. The direction can be changed by pressing the button in the middle section of the fan.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure these devices are in working order. No exception. Oil and gas heating systems may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if something goes wrong with the ventilation or combustion.

Mouse Traps
Is your property known to have rodent issues? Mice will start to make their way into your home once the temperature drops. Before the mice become a bigger problem, trap or repel them using a device like an ultrasonic pest repeller. In addition to setting up mice traps, seal up any holes or crevices that may potentially become rodent entry points.

Debris Cleaning
Clear our debris from the gutters and drains. Clogged gutters could cause ice dams to form, which could prevent the home drainage system from functioning properly.

Emergency Items
Stock up on items like batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, and canned food in case of an emergency. Major snowstorms may prevent you from getting the essentials at times of need.

Snow Blower
Clearing snow with a shovel can be back-breaking work. Automate the process and finish the job faster by using a snow blower instead.

Window Air Conditioners
Cover the air conditioner units with the appropriate insulation material or remove them so you can close the window completely. Stopping drafts, especially around windows, is an important part of reducing the winter energy bill.

Energy Conservation Tips for Winter

Weather Stripping Door Test

Window & Door Weather-stripping
Check the weather-stripping around window and door frames. For doors, a simple way to test the weather-stripping is by slipping a piece of paper between the doorjamb and the side of the door. If the paper slides in and out fairly easily then you will probably need new weather-stripping.

For windows, you could test the weather-stripping by running a wet hand test. Wet your hand with water then run your hand along the sides. The moisture should help you detect a leak.
Potential Cost: Small ($)

Automated Thermostat
If your home doesn’t already come with a smart thermostat then be sure to get one. You can then program the thermostat to only turn on/off during specific times of the day. For example, you might want the thermostat to turn itself on half an hour before you get back home.

If you want to take it a step further then consider integrating it to a voice platform like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. That way, you can simply tell the device to turn on/off or to set the temperature to a cooler or warmer temperature.
Potential Cost: Medium ($$)

Water Heater Insulation
Insulate the water heater tank to reduce the amount of power needed by the unit to heat up the water. The simplest way is to cover the tank with a water heater insulating blanket. Some utilities may sell these blankets at a discounted price.
Potential Cost: Small ($)

Comfortable Winter Clothes
Live by yourself? Instead of warming your home, focus on warming yourself by wearing a hoodie or a fleece blanket like a snuggie. That way, you can set the thermostat to a comfortable yet lower temperature and save your electricity bill.
Potential Cost: Small ($)

Micro Body Heaters
There are certain parts of your body, such as your hands or feet, that may still feel cold after putting on a jumper and sweatpants. At this point, you could consider getting micro heaters that focus on warming up those parts of the body.

For example, if you spend a lot of time at the desk and your feet get cold then you could consider placing a foot warmer underneath the desk.
Potential Cost: Medium ($$)

Bubble Wrap Insulation
Some people are limited to what modifications they can make to their homes due to living in a rental apartment, condo etc. One simple way to insulate the windows without any drilling work is to cover the windows with bubble wrap.
Potential Cost: Small ($)

Blackout Curtains
These curtains can trap heat during the winter and prevent heat from entering during the summer. According to Energy.gov, using draperies could reduce heat loss of up to 25%.
Potential Cost: Medium ($$)

Home Energy Audits
Did you know that some utilities offer a free home energy audit? An energy auditor will swing by your home to examine things that affect your water and electricity usage including appliances and heating. Reach out to your local utility to find out if they offer such services for free.
Potential Cost: Small ($)