Have you checked your calendar recently? Yep, it still says January. Keeping your home warm and cozy during these chilly Minnesota winter days and nights can be costly and energy intensive, but freezing your “you know what off” isn’t a practical alternative either.
Whether you have a home in Chisholm, Hibbing, Virginia or anywhere in-between, there are fortunately some simple steps you can take to cut those energy costs significantly. Instead of home into a frozen Lake Vermillion, take a few steps to keep your home more energy efficient while still staying comfortable.
- Learn to love 68 degrees. In the winter, set the thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees during the day and 65 to 58 degrees at night or when away from home for several hours. You’ll be surprised how “warm” 68 degrees really is, and heck this is the great Iron Range, we are known for our tolerance to cold!
- Keep the cold air out! Take a tour of the outside of your home. You’d be surprised how many “gaps” you will see. Seal all holes surrounding pipes and wires that enter/exit your living space. This includes weather-stripping doors and windows. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then you better get sealing!
- Don’t use the fireplace. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s never energy efficient to use a fireplace as a heat source for your home. Even as a supplemental heat source, the cold air introduced to a warm home from an open flue isn’t as efficient as sealing off a fireplace and using the primary source of heat. For natural gas fireplaces, turn off the pilot light when not in use. Seal off the fireplace area or the flue area to prevent cold air from leaking in.
- Seal that duct work. Yes, no one likes crawling up in their attic and getting covered with insulation and dust. But, this is the absolute number one way to conserve energy. Make sure that all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections with duct sealer or silicone caulk. Otherwise, supply ductwork can leak heated air into the attic or crawl space, and outside air can be drawn into the return ductwork, increasing costs and reducing comfort dramatically. Last thing you want to be doing is paying to heat your attic.
- Lower your water heater temperature. Did you know that most water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees? Yes, it’s easy to reset the temperature? And, lowering the temperature on your water heater to between 120 and 125 degrees will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water. Don’t worry, the water is still warmer than what’s in Lake Vermillion right now!
- Replace your furnace filters, monthly! The last thing you want to pay for in the middle of the winter is a broken furnace. Dirty filters are the top reason for furnace breakdowns. Do your furnace a favor and purchase less expensive filters and change monthly instead of using those expensive filters! And always have a professional furnace “check up” and cleaning annually!
While you can’t control how cold our Chisholm, Minnesota winters are, you can definitely control how much they cost you!
When you’re looking for an Iron Range property, give the local experts at Iron Country Realty a call. We’re always happy to help!