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Energy-Saving Tips to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather

Winter chills typically lead to higher energy bills. While some additional energy expenditures can’t be avoided, there are plenty of simple projects you can undertake to prepare your home for cold weather. Remember: The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start to see savings on your monthly energy bill.

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  1. Seal the leaks. Closed doors and windows can still allow cold air to enter the home. Prepare your home for cold weather by applying weather stripping and/or caulk around leaky doors or windows. Locking your windows will ensure a tight fit (and prevent burglars from gaining entry). You can also place special window insulation film on windows.
  2. Insulate the attic. Having adequate insulation in your attic is one of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for the cold weather. Inspect your attic; if you find the insulation is level with or below the floor joists, you need to add more.

  3. Take care of your furnace. Have your furnace inspected once a year by a licensed professional. Also make sure to change your furnace filters once a month to keep your furnace running efficiently.

  4. Give vents room to breathe. Push aside any furniture that may be obstructing heating vents. This will allow your furnace to heat your home more efficiently.

  5. Let the sun help. Keep shades and curtains open during the day – particularly on the south side of the home – so sunlight can provide additional heat. Lower shades once the sun sets.

  6. Embrace lower temperatures. For each degree you lower your thermostat, you reduce your energy bill by two percent. So put on a sweater and start saving some real money.

  7. Embrace lower temperatures (part 2). Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 F and you’ll save 7 to 11 percent on your energy bill. Some water heaters can’t go this low, so it’s a good idea to consult your owner’s manual before changing the temperature.

  8. Invest in a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats let you preset the temperatures you want your home at during certain days and times. Most models are manual, but new smart home technology lets you control your home from your smartphone. You can lower your home’s temperature while you’re at work and even program the thermostat to raise the temperature before you return home. Just remember your pets before you lower the temperature too far.

  9. Watch your water usage. A hot shower feels great after braving icy winds. But showers typically account for up to two-thirds of your water heating costs. By cutting your shower time in half, you can reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent.

  10. Don’t forget your fireplace. When it’s in use, your fireplace is a source of heat. When it’s not, the chimney is a tunnel for cold air. Closing the damper whenever your fireplace is not in use will prevent cold air from entering your home.

Next, get tips on how to prevent bugs and rodents from infiltrating your home.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.