Imagine a blustery cold day. You want to stay indoors in your comfy, toasty home with the heater cranked up to 76 degrees. It’s all fine and dandy until you get your power bill…then it hits you…right in the wallet. Maybe turning up the heat isn’t the only way you can stay warm and comfy in the winter months. Lowering your heating and or power bill isn’t hard. Here are some ways you can lessen the bill burden and still have a warm home while conserving energy.
Block the Drafts
Drafty windows and doors are heat/energy killer number one. Older homes weren’t sealed quite as well as the ones being built today so they may have seams that don’t mesh up properly, or maybe the windows or doors have just moved over time. Whichever the case, you can purchase draft guards for your doors and window plastic or inserts to keep the draft contained.
A door draft guard is usually a long item that sits or attaches to the door. It butts up to the bottom of your door to block the chilly air from getting underneath. They come in various colors, styles, and sizes to fit any door. Window plastic form fits to the window and corrals cold air before it enters the room. Use a hair dryer to heat shrink the plastic to fit the window after applying stick tape to the windows border. This tape will hold the plastic in place. The plastic can be removed if desired later. A window insert is a measured piece of glass that has rubber around the edges. They press into place and are great for preservation, noise reduction, or UV Ray blocking.
Lower Your Interior Temperature
This can be difficult for some, especially if you are from a warmer area and are having trouble adjusting to the new climate. Sometimes a simple temperature reduction will do the trick. Turning your thermostat down ten degrees will help you save up to 10% annually on your heating bill by reducing energy used. If the chilly room temp just isn’t for you then try the next tip.
Wear More Clothing
Going hand in hand with lowering the room temperature, adding clothing will keep you warm (duh) and remove the temptation to turn the heater back up to 78 degrees. Try wearing socks and bedroom slippers as you go about in your home. Maybe a thicker shirt or one with longer sleeves to fend off the chill.
Let The Sun Do The Work
We have all walked into a room that has been engulfed in sunlight only to find it is HOT in there. Use this tactic in the winter and let the sun do all the work for your HVAC system. Windows amplify sunlight and the rays that pass through them, heating up your home by simply opening the curtains is a great way to save the wallet while letting in natural light.
Utilize Your Ceiling Fans Reverse Function
Another simple way to utilize functions of things you already have – reverse your ceiling fan. Usually, fans take cooler air and pull it up from the bottom of the floor to circulate in the room. Cold air sinks while hot air rises, so by reversing your fan spin direction, you are moving the air in the opposite direction as well. This will bring the hot air down from the ceiling and force it towards the floor thus circulating hot air throughout the room.
Move Your Furniture
Cuddling up by the fireplace on the huge honking sofa may seem like a great idea for warm feet, but what about the rest of the suffering room? The large sofa will undoubtedly be blocking the heat produced by the fireplace from reaching out into the rest of the room. The fix? Just scoot the sofa over so the air has a pathway out into the corners of the room. Moving bulky furniture out of the way from radiators, air vents, or baseboard heaters will help the heat disburse throughout the room more evenly.
New homes with Smart Home features will probably have a programable thermostat (you may get lucky and find and older home with one also!) that you can set to change the temperature in a room. This is a great energy saving feature since it allows you to drop the temperature when you are not home. You can then raise the temperature before you arrive home. Dropping the temp when you are not present will help the machine from kicking on and off so many times and heating a space that isn’t being used. A half hour before you arrive back home, have the thermostat click on and heat your home back to sixty-eight degrees.
Insulate All That You Can to save Heat and Energy
Insulation is a material added to homes when they are constructed. The material goes in the walls, floors at times, and can even go in the walls of your attic. Its purpose is to keep your home cooler or warmer depending on the season. There are standards that go into insulating homes and which grade of material is put where. Of course, as a homeowner, you can upgrade your insulation or even add it to areas of your home to reduce heat loss. A contractor will most likely be needed to do this as it can be a hefty task. However, it will be well worth it in the long run.
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