Daylight saving time ended this past week and that means longer nights and colder days. That also translates to higher energy bills. There are things you can do before the frost sets in to save money on energy costs and keep inside cozy for winter.
The first thing Cathy Borden with Home Depot suggests you do this winter is insulate. It keeps the warm air in your home, and keeps the cold air out. Insulation makes a home more comfortable through the winter and it reduces the home's energy use by up to 20%. The second way you can save money this winter on energy costs is changing to energy efficient light bulbs. With shorter days and longer nights, you'll be using your lights more this winter and it's a simple way to keep costs down. LED bulbs will save you money on your energy bills because they use 85% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. Switching to LED means you change light bulbs less, as they are designed to last more than 20 years. It also saves you money in the end because the color and brightness of LED bulbs emit more light than other regular incandescent bulbs.
The average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot square hole - that's like leaving a window open all day, according to the Department of Energy. Sealing and insulating the shell of your home is a very cost effective way to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. With products such as caulk, spray foam, weather stripping you can save up or 10% on heating and cooling costs. One inexpensive, fast air sealing solution is application of a window and door insulating foam sealant .
For windows, doors and skylights, this minimal-expanding foam with a low pressure build forms a durable, airtight and water-resistant seal. Upgrading your outdated thermostat to one that is programmable can save more than $200 a year. Smart programmable thermostats like the ecobee4 Wi-Fi Thermostat has a built-in Amazon Alexa Voice service, which listens to your voice commands so you can change the temperature while sitting on your couch, and you can control it from your phone to if you forgot to turn it on or off and you are away from home. It includes a room sensor to help manage hot and cold spots and will adjust temperatures for consistency.
For more ideas, visit www.homedepot.com/energy.