Don’t let this winter leave your bank account in the cold

Tips for keeping your home warm

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Wondering why even though you turned up the heat it still feels cold in the house? Is your fireplace sending warm air out of your chimney? The Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC) would like to share a few simple tips and fixes to help you stay warm this winter and save money by saving energy.

Places like doorways and windows are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to letting cold air into your home. If you can see light coming through the space around your door, cold air is getting in. Spare the cold air by adding new weatherstripping to the door to close that gap. If the gap is at the bottom, you can place a blanket up against the doorway for a temporary solution. Be sure to also check your windows for cracks, gaps, or missing caulk around the frame, and don’t forget to pull down the storm window if you have one. You can use new caulk, weatherstrips, or buy plastic sheets to tape around windows and prevent cold air from getting in. Still not sure if cold air is getting in? A simple test is to put a receipt or dollar bill in the door or window. If you can pull it out without any tension, you have cold air sneaking into your home, costing you more money.

Many times, cold air gets into homes in places we least expect it: recessed lights, unfinished spaces behind closets or cupboards, electrical outlets, HVAC closets, and more. A quick and easy fix to save money in the long run is to use foam sealers behind outlets and switch covers. You can also find low-expansion spray foam to fill larger gaps where pipes, ducting, and plumping come through the wall. In just a few minutes you can start saving money and stop cold air from getting in. Be sure to use fire-resistant materials when sealing leaks around the fireplace, furnace, or gas-fired water heaters. Call a professional with any questions to prevent injury or accidents.

Fireplaces can be very cost effective when it comes to heating your home in the winter. However, when you are not using the fireplace, but sure to keep the damper closed. Leaving the damper open is like leaving a window open, allowing cool air to get in your home. If you never use your fireplace, be sure to close and seal the chimney flue. Before you begin heating your home each year, be sure to have a certified chimney sweep clean the chimney and inspect all the components of your fireplace to help it function efficiently and safely. Also, check for gaps around the chimney that may be letting cool air in through your attic or crawl space.

With all the cold air that can get in your home, are you wondering if there is any way to help heat your home? While the winter typically brings cold air and snow, the sun can help heat your home if you follow these simple steps. Work with mother nature and open curtains/blinds during the day to allow sunlight in and naturally warm up a room. At night, close them to create a thermal barrier and keep the chill from cold windows out. Consider using black-out curtains for an even stronger effect.

Last but not least, as the holiday season makes things merry and bright, be sure to switch to LED lighting both in your home and for holiday decorations. Go one step further for savings and use a light timer to set it and forget it so you don’t forget to turn off lights at night. For more holiday energy saving tips, visit PublicPowerDE.com or follow DEMEC on Facebook.