Winter is here, and with it comes chilly temperatures and a desire to be inside curled up in a blanket sipping on a warm drink. To ensure that your house is comfortable, you’ve probably turned on your heater and are letting the warm air circulate through your space. Make sure when it’s time to heat your home, you’re doing it the best way you can.
If you’re like most Americans, then heating your home during the winter accounts for almost half of your utility bills. This can be a lot of money. More than likely, your heater is also being run by a nonrenewable energy source, mainly fossil fuels. To help save yourself some money and to be kinder to the planet, below are some ways to make heating your home more efficient.
1. Seal Your Home
Believe it or not, your windows and doors could be contributing to the inefficient heating of your house. If they are not sealed properly, it’s easy for cold air to seep in and hot air to escape. To reduce the chances of your heater having to run constantly to keep you home at the ideal temperature, check the seals on your windows and doors and ensure they are tight.
If you have pets and they have a door that allows them to go outside at their leisure, this could have a huge impact on how warm your house stays. While you can’t get rid of all drafts from a pet door, you can reduce how much warm air is lost. You can use weather stripping or even a heavy curtain to help with leaks and air loss.
2. Check Your Insulation
If you don’t have the right amount of insulation in your home, this could be contributing to your high heating bills. It’s recommended that you need at least 12 inches of insulation to keep the heat from escaping your home. If you don’t have that much, you aren’t heating your home efficiently. You can always add more to your attic to keep your house warm and toasty during the winter. It can also help keep your home cool in the summer.
3. Use the Sun to Your Advantage
The sun is a free source of heat, and it can be beneficial during the winter months. When the sun is shining, make sure to open your curtains so that the light can drift in and warm up your home. When the sun goes down, close the curtains to keep the warm air from escaping.
You can also use curtains to your advantage. Having heavier curtains over your windows can help trap the heat inside your home. When they are closed, they will act as another barrier to keep cold air from drifting in your house.
4. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you and your family are gone during the day to go to work or school, it’s pointless to keep your house at the same temperature. Consider getting a programmable thermostat so that you can change the temperature throughout the day. This is a great way to reduce your heating bill and ensure that you are heating your house effectively.
When no one is home, you can keep the house cooler. Right before you walk through the door, you can make sure the heat is turned up to keep everyone happy and warm. When everyone is cuddled under their covers at night, you can turn the temperature back down again.
5. Don’t Block the Registers
If you have furniture or other objects over the heat registers in a room, this could mean they aren’t heating the room effectively. Couches and curtains can both absorb warm air and trap it. Make sure to keep registers open so that warm air can circulate. If you have no other place to move your furniture or other items, then consider getting an air diverter. This will ensure that the warm air is circulating throughout the room and keeping it as warm as you like it.
6. Reduce Your Exhaust Fan Use
If you turn on your exhaust fan while cooking or taking a shower, you might consider reducing its use during the winter. Turning this on can contribute to the loss of a lot of heat. When showering or cooking, consider using the heat that is created during these processes to keep your house warm. Only run the exhaust fan for as long as possible and let the rest of the heat hang out in your home.
7. Use Your Ceiling Fans
It may seem counter-intuitive to use your ceiling fans during the winter, but they can help pull down the warm air that has risen to the ceiling and recirculate it through the room. To accomplish this goal, make sure the blades are spinning in a clockwise direction. This will pull the cool air up and send the warm air back down.
8. Dress for the Weather
If you dress in warm clothes while in your home, you don’t have to have the thermostat set quite as high, and this can help reduce your utility bill. You might also consider curling up with blankets or putting down throw/area rugs on the floor to keep the house warmer.
9. Eat Warm Foods
Another way to regulate the temperature in your house is to eat and drink warm foods. This won’t warm the space, but it will keep you comfortable. Again, this may allow you to turn down the thermostat by a few degrees so that you can save some money.
With winter here, you want to be comfortable in your home, but you also don’t want to worry about super high heating bills. By making a few changes and ensuring that your home isn’t drafty, you should be able to keep the space warm and save a few dollars during the coldest months of the year.