While we have been fortunate enough to not have the scary lake-effect snowstorms that they're experiencing back East, temperatures in Utah definitely get chilly, and the snow and ice can be a real pain to handle. The cold is not only unpleasant, it can also be expensive! Whether you own or rent your home, maintaining it through the winter can save you big bucks, and also help prolong the life of it. Below is a list of quick fixes that will help fill your pocketbook, and also keep you warmer!
1. Insulate your home (FOR LITTLE TO NO COST!). Questar Gas offers rebates to customers who bring their insulation up to their specifications, and many times this service ends up being free, or a small fraction of the cost. This will also save lots on your energy bills through the winter, since that heat you're pumping out won't be escaping through the roof.
2. Weatherstrip your doors. Replacing, or adding, weatherstrips onto your exterior doors is a quick and easy way to reduce your energy bills. You can easily install them yourself, and it will be an afternoon project that you'll be glad you did.
3. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Doing this will push the hot air down and help recirculate it throughout the room. Just don't forget to change them back in the spring!
4. Replace the filter in your furnace, and sweep ducts out. This will help the airflow greatly and increase the efficiency of the unit.
5. Clean out your gutters. Before snow starts falling, make sure that water can flow through your gutters. If you haven't cleaned out leaves and other debris from them, icicles can form much more freely, causing potential damage to your gutters and a safety hazard around your house.
6. Use thick curtains with an insulated interior side, or double layer your curtains. This is a great way to spruce up a room, and also keep in the heat. Upgrade your old window coverings and get insulated curtains, or blackout shades behind curtains you already have.
7. Install window insulation film. I wouldn't recommend doing this on your front windows and in areas you constantly entertain since it's not the most fashionable window accessory, but in a basement or other seldom-used area, this is a simple fix that can save up to 70% of your heat from leaking out. Kits are under $30!
8. Rearrange your furniture so it doesn't cover any vents.
9. Install a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home's temperature. By keeping your home cooler during the day when you aren't there, this can really add up in savings.
10. When all else fails, put a rolled up towel at the bottom of the doors. Sure, you can buy a draft guard, but a rolled up towel will do the trick, too (and remind you of your college days as a struggling student) - and it's free!