What’s the best way to save costs on heating this winter? Turn it off! But that’s not very practical in cold winters. Instead, follow this checklist to see how you can conserve heat in your home and turn down the thermostat.
Turn your thermostat down at night or when leaving the house. Just turning it down one degree can cut energy use significantly.
Program your thermostat. If you’re reluctant to turn the heat down at bedtime and dread waking up to a chilly house in the morning, get a programmable thermostat that will allow you to save heat overnight or while you’re out, but warm up before your alarm goes off or you get home from work. Modern smart thermostats don’t even require manual programming as they learn your habits, are sensitive to movement and understand your high use period and automatically create a routine to help you save on heating.
Fill gaps and reduce drafts. Replace or install weather stripping around doors. Caulk drafty windows or gaps in door frames. Search your home for cold spots and make repairs to keep your warm air in.
Wrap your windows. If your windows are older and do a poor job insulating your home, you probably want to replace them, but this isn’t always in the budget. Alternatively, you can seal your windows with clear plastic cling wrap that goes on tight to keep the cold out.
Run your ceiling fans. Did you know running your fans in reverse in the colder months will actually push warm air down into your living space? Make sure you’re running counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
Replace your furnace filter. A dirty furnace filter will reduce the warm air flowing through your vents and cause your furnace to work overtime. Replace filters monthly in the winter months. Doing so will also cut down on dust and allergens in your home.
Install storm doors to add a second level of defense against cold air around your doors.
Make sure your furnace is in good working order. Your furnace should be regularly inspected to ensure that it is operating smoothly, not working too hard or costing too much and to ensure it is safe condition.
Check your duct work. Unsealed, broken or leaking ductwork can account for major heat loss and wasted energy in a home. Where possible, make sure your ducts are not leaking and losing hot air before it reaches its intended destination.
Insulate where needed. Check to see if your walls are properly insulated. You can often tell if a wall is missing insulation just by its temperature when touched. Check exterior walls as well as walls and floors that are shared with the garage and basement making sure these areas aren’t too cold.
Check your roof. If you notice that after a winter storm the snow melts much more quickly off your home than your neighbor’s, it’s likely you’re losing heat through your attic and it requires some additional insulation.
Use a space heater or gas fireplace. If there are rooms in your home that are used more often than others, take measures to heat this room specifically rather than turning up the heat through the whole house. Space heaters are inexpensive and do the job while gas fireplaces offer a low-energy option while also being a nice decorative feature.
Conserving heat and energy is good for you and good for the environment. This checklist will have you saving on your utility bills while helping cut your carbon footprint. As an added bonus, you’ll be glad for all your energy updates when they do double duty to help keep your home cool and your air conditioning costs down when the hot days of summer arrive.