As those of us who hail from colder areas know, keeping a residence comfortably heated throughout the frigid winter months can be a real challenge – not to mention expensive! Given how pricey utility bills can get during the wintertime, it’s in every homeowner’s best interest to ensure that their home heating efforts are as effective and efficient as possible. If you’ve noticed that yours are anything but, there are a number of possible reasons to consider.
You Have Unsealed Window Drafts
You stand to lose quite a bit of heat through unsealed window drafts. The more air that escapes, the harder your furnace has to work to account for the temperature changes – and the higher your heating bills are likely to be as a result. While the presence of some window drafts is fairly obvious, other drafts are only noticeable upon careful inspection. As such, make a point of thoroughly inspecting every window in your home for the presence of drafts.
Fortunately, most window drafts can be sealed fairly easily, even for those of us who don’t have a lot of experience with home maintenance. Window insulation kits can be purchased from virtually any hardware or home improvement store and are affordable on even the tightest of budgets. Since windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, make sure you know the dimensions of the window(s) you wish to seal before proceeding to purchase any of the aforementioned kits.
You can also help prevent window-based air loss by outfitting your home’s windows with thermal curtains. Per the name, these curtains are much thicker than standard window dressings and therefore better equipped to prevent the escape of indoor air and the entrance of outdoor air.
You Have Unaddressed Roof Damage
As is the case with drafty windows, a fair amount of warm air can escape your home through unpatched holes in your roofing. Additionally, if you live in an area with harsh winter weather, you’ll need to be extra-vigilant when it comes to roof maintenance. The constant exposure to moisture from snow and ice can create holes, buckling and other pressing issues – which, if left unaddressed, stand to compromise the structural integrity of your roof.
In the interest of avoiding this, take care to stay on top of roof maintenance. This means having your roof professionally inspected at least once a year. This will help ensure that holes and other problems are addressed in a timely and cost-effective manner – before they’re able to become far more serious issues. Yes, this will cost money, but spending a little bit on basic maintenance in the short term is infinitely preferable to shelling out a fortune in the long run.
Your Furnace isn’t Being Properly Maintained
Since your furnace is your foremost line of defense against the bitter cold, it’s in your best interest to ensure that it receives the proper maintenance. To help keep your furnace operating at peak efficiency for the foreseeable future, make sure to have it professionally, cleaned, inspected and repaired at least once a year. Additionally, the next time you discover that the AC blower fan won’t turn on or encounter any other issues with your furnace, call in knowledgeable pros posthaste. The longer you allow such issues to linger, the more long-term damage they’re likely to cause.
You Have Ineffectual Insulation
If your home’s insulation has proven ineffectual at regulating indoor temperature, look into having it replaced. While this will set you back a little, high-quality insulation stands to save you a considerable sum in utility costs over the long term. As a bonus, good insulation won’t only prove useful during the chilly winter months. Throughout the sweltering summer months, the right insulation can help prevent warm air from entering and cool air from escaping your home.
Maintaining a comfortably toasty home throughout the winter can come at a steep price. Needless to say, not everyone can readily afford to pay a king’s ransom in utility costs each month. However, if you’ve noticed that your heating bills are pricier than usual, there’s a good chance that you’re inadvertently contributing to the problem. Keeping an eye out for the issues discussed above can prove highly conducive to efficiency and cost-effectiveness in your home heating efforts.