February can be hard on energy bills. But cold winter weather is no match for a home that is prepared to fight it. Address these common winter culprits throughout your house:
- Drafty doors and windows. An easy fix with a big payback is weather-stripping. Caulk or apply weather-stripping around all window and door seams, especially those leading to the basement or the attic. Weather-strip your attic access door.
- Dirty filters. Dirty filters make your HVAC system work harder to heat the air. Aim to change the filter every three to six months.
- Leaky ducts. A contractor can test your ducts for leakage and repair any problems. Repair visible or accessible leaks with metal tape—not duct tape.
- Chilly water heater. If your water heater is older or not well insulated, wrap it in an insulating jacket.
- Wood fireplace. Traditional fireplaces pull heated air out of the house. When not in use, check that the damper is completely closed.