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How to Stay Warm While Saving on Home Heating Costs

It may be winter, but don’t let chilly temperatures discourage you from completing home improvement projects. In fact, now is the ideal time to make changes to your home that will improve its efficiency during these colder months AND keep your utility bills as low as possible.

Insulate Your Water Heater
By essentially putting a “jacket” on your water heater, you can keep your water warmer during the cold months without having to use excess energy to heat it. All you have to do is buy a fiberglass jacket from a home improvement store and wrap it around your water heater like a blanket. Adding this extra layer of insulation will reduce heat loss drastically, and you will recoup the investment in just a few months with all the money you’ll be saving!

Seal Up Openings
There are dozens of potential areas in your home where cold air can seep in and warm air can leak out. To keep this from happening, start by sealing seams around windows and doors with caulk, waterproof sealant or weather stripping. If you have any old windows that are constantly leaking, consider replacing them with units that are more energy efficient. Then inspect places where pipes enter and exit your home and seal those areas up as well. While you’ll want to maintain some ventilation during the winter months, you should still seal any openings around the vents themselves. Finally, make sure air isn’t leaking through cracks around your interior and exterior light fixtures.

Insulate Attics and Crawl Spaces
To prevent warm air escaping through your ceilings, make sure your entire attic is protected by at least 16 inches of proper insulation. Do the same for crawl spaces and basement ceilings. Heating or air conditioning ducts can be sealed with metallic foil or duct tape, and you may want to consider building a customized foam box to insulate your pull-down attic stairs.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
It’s a simple do-it-yourself project that doesn’t cost very much to complete, and the thermostat often pays for itself in energy savings during a single winter season. Once installed, program the thermostat to call for more heat during the morning and evening, and less heat when you’re away at work or school. Some models even allow you to control these thermostats from your tablet computer or smartphone.

When you’re looking for supplies to weatherize for other interior home projects, you can find almost everything you need at Central Oklahoma Habitat’s two ReStores. Both carry interior/exterior paint, building supplies, doors, flooring, area rugs, light fixtures and household décor items. The prices are a fraction of what you’ll find anywhere else, and you can check out the stores’ Facebook page at @cohfhstores, to find the latest deals.

Central Oklahoma Habitat ReStores offer great deals on quality new and gently-used building supplies, home improvement products, furniture, appliances and a wide variety of household items. The prices are unbelievably low! The Habitat ReStores stock everything from flooring and paint to unique area rugs, antiques and collectibles. Our inventory is constantly changing. You can check out our Facebook page, COHFH ReStore to see the latest deals.

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