Here are some tips to make your home more energy-efficient this winter.

In Upstate New York, the winters can be very harsh and their toll can be tough on your wallet.  If you're a homeowner in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, or Albany areas, here are 9 ways to save money this winter by making your home more energy-efficient...

1) On sunny days open up your blinds/shades to let the sunshine through your windows to help warm the rooms up; you can also spread a dark blanket out where the sun hits for extra warmth.

2) USE your ceiling fans. Homes that have great ventilation can be more energy efficient during the winter. Ceiling fans can be used for better airflow: counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer and clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. Turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to bring hot air back down.

3) Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when using your furnace during the day.  You can set it at 60 degrees when you will be away from your house for more than 8 hours. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill

4) When doing the laundry try to do FULL loads only. It takes about the same amount of energy to wash a half load versus a full load.

5) Clear out the lint trap on the dryer after EACH use and make sure the dryer vent is free from debris — blockage can make the dryer less efficient.

6) Be sure to close the damper when your fireplace is NOT being used — you can also turn heaters down as well.

7) You can take your water temperature down a few degrees; 120 degrees or lower is best.

8) Wash only full loads in the dishwasher — just like with the washer and dryer it takes about the same amount of energy to wash a half load versus a full load.

9) Perhaps it’s time to invest in insulation. You can lose a lot of money by “heating the outside.” Heat escapes very easily in houses without proper insulation.  You can pick up some inexpensive insulation from your local home improvement store or have someone like Comfort Windows take care of it for you. You can start the process easily with a foam weather stripping for your windows and doors. The weatherstripping is easy to install and easy on your bank account.

If your home could use some more insulation or new windows or doors to make it more energy-efficient, give Comfort Windows & Doors a click here to set up a free estimate today.