Now that the weather is turning cold, it's time to crank up the heater. With heating oil prices rising, it's also time to make sure that your heater – and your home – is as energy-efficient as possible. Before the cold weather sets in, take the following steps to help reduce your heating oil costs this winter.
Start with the Doors and Windows
When it comes to reducing energy costs, the best place to start is with your doors and windows. This is particularly true if it's been a while since you weatherized your home. Begin by installing fresh weather stripping around all your exterior-facing doors. To ensure a snug fit, scrape the old weather stripping off first and wipe the door jambs down. Once the door jambs are clean, apply the fresh weather stripping. Next, apply fresh caulking around the edges of your windows. Use a putty knife to smooth the surface, which will press the caulking into the spaces to provide air-tight protection.
Add Fresh Insulation
If the insulation in your attic is more than a few years old, it's a good idea to add a fresh layer. As insulation ages, it can wear down, which reduces its effectiveness. Adding a new layer of insulation will improve your home's energy-efficiency. If you have small cracks and crevices that are allowing cold air in, use spray foam insulation to seal those up. It's also a good idea to use spray foam insulation along the outer edges of the attic. This will ensure that even the hard-to-reach spaces are properly insulated.
Program Your Thermostat
If you don't have a programmable thermostat, you could be wasting heating oil. A programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. By setting the thermostat to a lower setting while you're away from home or sleeping, you can reduce the amount of heating oil you use during those hours. If you want to make sure that your home isn't cold when you return from work, simply program your thermostat to turn on shortly before you're expected to return.
Don't let rising heating oil prices keep you from staying warm this winter. Before the temperatures dip into the uncomfortable range, make sure you've taken the necessary steps to reduce your heating costs. For additional tips on how to reduce energy costs, be sure to speak to a heating oil provider such as Fox Fuel Co.