Energy Saving Ideas for Winter
Are you looking for ways to lower your heating costs without lowering your comfort level … or emptying your wallet? Read on for winter energy savings ideas from PopularMechanics.com, U.S. News & World Report, and energy.gov.
Use everything the sun has to offer. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Use a programmable or smart thermostat. Many modern thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature to reflect your schedule. You can save 10 percent on energy by reducing the temperature 10° to 15° for eight hours a day.
Adjust door thresholds. If you can see daylight under your front door, then you're losing the indoor air you've paid to heat.
Plug holes in exterior walls. Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects. Seal the gaps with expanding foam. For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe.
Reduce heat loss from the fireplace. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window approximately 1 inch and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
Insulate the attic access door. Even in well-insulated attics, the access door may not be properly insulated, letting warm air escape through the attic hatch. And if the door is warped or something obstructs the opening, then the door won't lie flat, allowing air to leak into the attic. To ensure that the door blocks airflow, use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. And if the door won't lie flat, use a latch bolt system to close it tight.
Keep heating registers clear. The warm air blowing out of your registers needs a clear path into the room to provide even heating. To cut heating costs, arrange your room so that the registers are as unobstructed as possible.
Use ceiling fans to your advantage. Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise and run them on a low setting to gently push hot air back down from the ceiling.
Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. The air inside your home can become very dry. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature. You can also increase the humidity with a collection of houseplants.
Use exhaust fans only when necessary. Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your home. Use fans sparingly, and shut them off when you are done with them.
To cut your energy bills by a lot this winter, please contact us today. And look for more energy saving ideas in our next post.