Homeowners tend to spend a lot more money on the heating of their home than they need to. There are a few key maintenance items that will save you money on your electric bill at the end of the month. The best thing is, these maintenance items are things that you can do yourself.
Even the best made homes are vulnerable to developing an air leak over time. As the house settles into its foundation, walls can shift at odd angles, creating cracks and space around the frame of doors and windows. Those cracks let in just as much cold air as they let out your heat. Outside, check for weaknesses at the corners of the home, outdoor water faucets, and the places where the foundation changes to siding. Inside, check all baseboards, weather stripping, fireplace dampers, door and window frames and electrical outlets for signs of a draft. Once located, seal them up good. Caulk can help to fix most areas. Your local hardware store would be a good place to look for other solutions.
Check your insulation to see if it is still working as it should. Insulation is designed to block the outside weather. In the winter it stops the cold dead in its tracks. If not properly insulated, your walls can be letting in a lot of cold air. Look in your attic for a vapor barrier under the insulation. Look for a plastic sheet, tarpaper or Kraft paper. This barrier helps keep the cold from descending into the house. Get one if you don’t have one.
For doors, you will want to turn off the breaker leading to the outlets of the wall you are testing. Make sure there is no power leading to the electrical outlets before removing the plate. When the plate is gone, insert a screwdriver into the empty space between the wall and the outlet. If you feel resistance, then you know your walls have been insulated. If not, then continue testing walls in your home and assess whether you should insulate your home better.
Check out the heater; make sure the parts are all intact and functional. If any part is worn down or looking unusable, replace it immediately to preserve the efficiency of your heater. The better it works, the faster it will heat up the house and the less it will have to work.