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10 Tips for Insulating Your Home to Save on Energy Bills

10 Tips for Insulating Your Home to Save on Energy Bills
Image Credit: coldsnowstorm from Getty Images Signature

Saving money on energy bills is a goal for many homeowners. By properly insulating your home, you can reduce the amount of energy needed to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. How can you make your home more energy-efficient and cut down on those high energy bills?

You’ll find that making some changes to how your home is insulated can lead to significant savings. From attics to basements, there are multiple areas where insulation can make a big difference. Taking the time to improve your home’s insulation is an investment that pays off in comfort and cost savings.

1) Seal Drafty Windows

Drafty windows can make your home chilly and drive up your energy bills. One simple way to fix this is by applying weatherstripping. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require any special tools. Place the weatherstripping around the sash and frame of the window.

Another option is to use window insulation kits. These kits come with plastic film and double-sided tape. You apply the tape around the window frame, then attach the plastic film. Use a hairdryer to shrink the film tightly to the window. This creates an insulating barrier.

Installing foam strips is another good solution. Foam strips are easy to install and can be cut to fit any window size. Peel off the backing and stick the foam strips around the edges of your window to stop drafts.

Try using styrofoam boards. Cut the board to the size of your window and place it inside the window casing. This will help to keep cold air out and warm air in.

Adding thick curtains can also make a difference. Heavy, thermal curtains provide an extra layer of insulation. Close them at night to keep the warmth inside your home.

Lastly, check for gaps and cracks around your window frames. Use caulk to seal any spaces where air might be leaking through. This is a quick fix that can make a big impact.

2) Install Door Sweeps

A door sweep is a simple and effective way to seal the gap at the bottom of your doors.

By installing a door sweep, you can stop drafts from entering your home. This helps keep your indoor temperatures stable and reduces the need for extra heating or cooling.

Door sweeps are easy to install. You can find them at most hardware stores. Measure your door width, cut the sweep to size if needed, and attach it to the bottom of your door using screws or adhesive.

There are different types of door sweeps available. Some have a brush-like design, while others are made of rubber or vinyl. Choose one that best suits your needs.

To install a door sweep, clean the bottom of the door first. Then, align the sweep and secure it in place. Make sure it touches the threshold to create a tight seal.

Consider using door sweeps on exterior doors as well as interior doors leading to unheated spaces like garages or basements. This can help maintain the comfort of your home and save on energy bills.

Regularly check your door sweeps for wear and tear. Replace them as needed to ensure they continue to work effectively.

3) Add Attic Insulation

Adding insulation to your attic is a great way to save on energy bills. The recommended R-Value for most attics is R-38, which translates to about 10 to 14 inches of insulation, depending on the type.

Fiberglass batts are a common and cost-effective choice. They generally cost between $0.30 and $1.50 per square foot. You’ll need at least 13 inches of fiberglass insulation in warmer climates to get the necessary R-Value.

By properly insulating your attic, you can make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient. The EPA estimates that adding insulation can save you about 15% on heating and cooling costs, which is roughly $200 per year for most households.

Don’t forget to seal any air leaks before you add the new insulation. This will boost the efficiency of your insulation and further lower your energy bills. Sealing gaps and cracks can make a big difference in how well your insulation performs.

4) Use Heavy Curtains

Heavy curtains can make a big difference in keeping your home warm. They work by blocking cold air from entering through windows and preventing warm air from escaping.

Thermal curtains are a great choice. They have a special layer of acrylic foam that adds extra insulation. These curtains are often called insulated curtains or thermal drapes and can be found in various styles and colors.

You don’t need to drill holes in your walls to hang heavy curtains. You can use tension rods or adhesive hooks for easy installation. This way, you can add insulation without worrying about damaging your walls.

Switch to thermal lined curtains during colder months. They create a cozy, insulating layer that helps reduce heat loss. By switching out your regular curtains for thermal ones, you can notice a difference in your heating bills. For more tips on picking the right curtains, check out this guide to energy-efficient curtains.

Make sure your curtains fit well. They should cover the entire window and reach the floor. This helps to seal off any gaps where drafts might sneak in. A snug fit ensures maximum efficiency and warmth.

5) Insulate Pipes

Insulating your pipes can help prevent them from freezing in winter and save on energy bills. By wrapping pipes with insulation, you reduce heat loss and make your heating system more efficient.

There are different materials you can use to insulate pipes, such as foam, fiberglass, or rubber. Foam insulation is easy to install and works well for most home pipes.

Start by turning off the water supply and draining the pipes. Make sure the pipes are dry before applying the insulation. You can wrap the pipes with insulation material and secure it using duct tape or zip ties.

Consider using heated pipe cables in extremely cold areas. These cables provide extra warmth and protection to prevent freezing. Keeping your home at a constant temperature also helps maintain the efficiency of the insulated pipes.

Regularly check the insulation for any wear and tear. Replace any damaged sections to ensure optimal performance. Insulating your pipes is an easy and cost-effective way to enhance your home’s energy efficiency and comfort.

For more steps on insulating, click here. Additionally, learn about other methods for energy efficiency by visiting the Department of Energy.

6) Weatherstrip Doors

Installing weatherstripping on your doors is a simple way to save energy. By sealing gaps, you can keep warm air inside during the winter and cool air in during the summer.

Start by measuring the door’s dimensions. Accuracy is important. Incorrect measurements can lead to an ineffective seal. Refer to the guide on common mistakes to avoid when installing weatherstripping to ensure you get it right.

Next, clean the door frame. Dirt and grease can prevent the weatherstripping from sticking properly. Use a cloth or degreaser if necessary. For a detailed cleaning process, check out this installation guide.

Cut the weatherstripping material to fit your door. Attach it carefully, ensuring there are no gaps. This helps in sealing the door tightly, reducing drafts effectively.

Adding a door sweep at the bottom can further block airflow. If you need to know how to install a door sweep, you can find more information on how to seal out drafts.

Weatherstripping not only saves energy but also improves comfort by minimizing drafts. It’s an easy DIY project that can have a big impact on your energy bills. Tighten up those doors and enjoy a more energy-efficient home!

7) Add Expanding Foam

Expanding foam is a great way to seal gaps and cracks in your home’s insulation. It’s useful for filling spaces around pipes, vents, and wires. This can help keep warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer.

You can also use expanding foam to insulate hard-to-reach areas. For example, it works well in small spaces between your attic and walls. Make sure to cover any exposed foam with a fire-resistant material, as the foam can be flammable.

Wrap fragile items, like a vase, in plastic wrap before filling the box with foam for added protection. This method creates a cushioned, snug fit while ensuring easy unpacking later. Visit Family Handyman for more tips.

When applying expanding foam, ventilation is important. Always open windows and turn off any pilot lights to avoid any potential hazards. For more guidance on this, check out Bob Vila’s advice.

8) Install Storm Windows

Storm windows are a great way to improve the insulation of your home. They create an extra barrier against cold and heat, reducing energy loss. You can choose between exterior and interior storm windows.

Installing storm windows with low-e coating can save you 10%-30% in heating and cooling costs. This means significant savings on your annual energy bills. Learn more about these benefits here.

Measuring correctly is crucial when installing storm windows. Measure the height and width of the window from inside molding to inside molding. Make sure to use the smallest measurements to ensure the best fit. More tips on measuring can be found here.

Low-e storm windows are quite energy-efficient and cost a fraction of full window replacement. They also have other benefits such as reducing drafts, increasing comfort, and lessening noise. They can even reduce home air leakage by 10%. Find more details here.

Storm windows come in various styles, including triple-track, sliding, and basement windows. Each type caters to different needs and preferences. Check out some options here.

9) Use Draft Stoppers

Draft stoppers are a simple and effective way to block cold air from sneaking into your home. Place them at the bottom of doors and windows to prevent drafts. They are easy to make or buy, and they can save you a lot on your energy bill.

To make a draft stopper, you’ll need a piece of sturdy material and some filling. Choose a material a few inches longer than the width of the door or window. Fill it with items like rice, batting, or even cedar chips for a fresh scent.

Hand sewing or using a sewing machine, stitch the ends of the material closed once it’s filled. Your draft stopper is ready to block drafts and keep your home cozy.

If you’d rather buy one, there are many ready-made options available online or in stores. These can be filled with similar materials and come in various designs to match your decor.

Remember, draft stoppers work well for both doors and windows. Using draft stoppers is a cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. For more ideas on making draft stoppers, check out these best draft stopper ideas or when and where to use draft stoppers.

10) Add Radiator Reflectors

Adding radiator reflectors is a simple way to save on heating costs. Radiator reflectors work by reflecting heat back into the room. Without them, much of the heat is absorbed by the walls. This makes your heating system work harder.

Radiator reflectors are easy to install. You can use materials like foil or purchase ready-made reflectors. DIY options include hanging tin foil behind the radiator. This can help boost the efficiency of your heating system.

Reports suggest that radiator reflectors can save you around 5 to 8% on your energy bills. This can be even more effective if your home has poor insulation. Reflectors can be a cost-effective option for many homeowners.

Prices for radiator reflectors vary. For example, Radflek offers packs starting from $21.99. Consider how many radiators you have and your home’s size when buying. Make sure the reflectors fit correctly behind your radiators.

To install, ensure the wall behind your radiator is clean. Use adhesives like double-sided tape or Velcro strips. Lay the reflector insulation flat and attach it securely. This ensures the reflector will stay in place and work effectively.

Using radiator reflectors is an easy and affordable way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It requires minimal effort and can lead to noticeable savings on your heating bills. Start with one radiator and see the difference it makes.

Conor Jameson
Written By

Conor Jameson was born and raised in Ireland where he was an accomplished carpenter by trade. He moved to the United States after meeting his now wife Sarah, while she was studying abroad. Conor and Sarah currently live in the New England area and love buying, renovating and selling old homes.

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