In light of the icy weather we’re having this week, we thought it was a great time to remind you of these 7 tips.
This time of year can be hard on efficiency and bills because cooler temperatures force the thermostat up and foggy days have us closing the blinds. Instead of giving in to higher bills, try out some of these techniques for a warmer winter at home.
1. Your Thermostat: If you have the funds and the ability, call an expert if the latter is not true, install a programmable thermostat. Programming your thermostat to let the temperature drop a bit while no one’s home and heat up when you return is an easy way to save a lot on heating bills. Also, remember that studies show that cooler temperatures make for a better night’s sleep.
2. Let the Light Shine: Draw back curtains and blinds during the day to allow the sun to come in. A sunny day, even a cold one, will heat up rooms a few degrees. At night, and in rooms that don’t get sunlight, keep curtains closed to keep more heat inside. If you’re home is particularly susceptible to heat loss, consider investing in insulated window dressings.
3. Fireplace Rules: While a fireplace may feel like a great way to keep warm, they are actually notoriously inefficient. Gas fireplaces can add significantly to your bills and both they and woodburning fires allow cold air to come in in other areas of your house. It is especially important that you keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use, otherwise it’s like opening a window.
4. Fan Flip: Ceiling fans don’t necessarily have or need to go off during colder months. If you flip the directional switch on your fan and turn it on a low speed it will push the hot air in your home, which naturally rises, back down. This trick is most beneficial in room with high or vaulted ceilings.
5. Mind the Gaps: Check your windows and doors for cracks, gaps and openings. Simply holding your hand up to the base of a window can reveal a strong current of air exchange. Replace any broken glass, framing, and caulk where necessary.
6. Close It Up: If you find yourself spending more time in some rooms than others, simply close doors to trap the heat. Additionally, if there are some rooms you never use, shut the door and vent to direct the heat where it needs to go and save on heating bills.
7. Add Layers: This means to your floors and to yourself. Rugs keep heat from escaping through the floors and will keep your feet warmer. If you’re really looking to save, stop worrying about heating the house and throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a warm sweatshirt. Add blankets to your bed and bundle up instead of heating your entire home.