My family is about to spend our winter in our new home, and I'm honestly a little nervous to learn how much it is going to cost us to heat it. Our house is nearly 2300 square feet including the basement, which is 1400 square feet more than the apartment we rented last winter. After taking into account the size difference, and fact that we are now heating with natural gas instead of electricity, I'm estimating the heating cost could reach $150 a month. Faced with the possibility of higher heating bills I've begun making improvements around the house to make things more energy efficient. Here are three ways I'm winterizing our home to reach my goal of a 20% savings on our heating costs.
Our house was built in the early '60s, and I'm fairly sure still has the same windows it was built with. They are made with wooden frames, and we still have to use old storm windows that are a pain to remove and install to help make them more energy efficient. I'm taking that a step further by caulking around the window frames to stop any air leaks. Stopping the leaks will help keep our heat in and the cold air out, and that means our furnace should be on less, which should reduce our bill some. It will cost us about $36 to caulk all the windows in our house, but the money will be recouped in the savings we are going to gain.
Replacing weather stripping on our doors
The doors were also originally installed when the house was built. We have two exterior doors, and both need to have their weather stripping replaced because we can see daylight all the way around them. It's going to cost us about $25 to replace the stripping for both doors, and like the windows, this will reduce the amount of heat lost from the leaks around the doors.
Changing Furnace filter
We got lucky in the fact that our furnace is in good condition. It was installed as a brand new unit five years ago, and with proper care can last us another 10 to 15 years. Replacing the filter once a month is a part of that proper care, and it will cost us less than $2 a month, but will save us much more.
If these changes do indeed save us 20% of our estimated $150 heating bill, they will have paid for themselves in less than three months. Another plus to these improvements is that they will also help keep our cooling costs down next summer.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: 3 Reasons I Forgo Store Credit CardsFirst Person: I Save $550 a Year By Working From Home
- Nature & Environment