Save energy this winter season
Whether your home needs an improved heating system or you want to extend the life of a recently upgraded heating system, these 9 ideas will save your household money and keep it warmer this fall season and throughout the winter.
1) Use a combination of heat sources.
Many households could actually save energy by relying on more than one source of heat. Forced-air central heat can bring the temperature up in a home very quickly but it can cost you to run it all day. Set your thermostat for the heat to come on 30 to 60 minutes before household members start coming home for the day to take the chill off then let the candles keep you warm the rest of the evening.
2) Stop losing heat from windows
Installing blinds or drapes on your windows and keeping them closed while your away can reduce the loss of heat transferred thru your window glass. Insulating blinds can be a great long-term investment that helps trap heat from the day indoors for the night. Heavy-duty winter window treatments can further contain heat on cold nights.
3) Bake in the mornings.
Start your day with a fresh loaf of bread or bake cookies in the morning for a treat later in the day. Homes are coldest in the morning and lighting the oven works double duty by heating the kitchen up fast. If you work early in the morning, try prepping your baking project the night before and popping it in the oven as you brew your morning coffee.
4) Zone Your Existing Central Heating.
We tend to spend most of our time at home in only a few rooms so why heat the entire home when you can split your heating system into zones. This is done by adding motorized dampers to your existing ductwork. Then adding a wireless thermostats in each extra zone and finally a control board to tell each zone what to do. So now, for example, you can enjoy your heating in the kitchen and living room while guest rooms and bathrooms are set at a lower temp or completely off. This saves energy because it reduces the square footage your furnace has to heat. Another advantage to zoning is it can balance the temperature of two story home, finally!
5) Install ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans are a great investment for a number of reasons: they move heat to the places where it’s needed, improve air circulation and quality, and promote better ventilation—all things that support your comfort and your greater heating system.
6) Use a humidifier.
Winter can bring dry air into your home. Adding a humidifier onto you’re your central heating or having a stand alone model can raise the humidity to a more comfortable level and you’ll find you can reduce the temperature you have your heating set at since moisture holds heat better.
7) Turn off inefficient or costly heat sources.
Certain types of electric heat and older gas furnaces may be inefficient and expensive to run. If you can’t replace your heat source this fall, try turning the heat off and using high-quality space heaters in key areas instead. Portable electric oil radiators can heat larger rooms efficiently and effectively, as can electric infrared heat. A ceiling fan can help you distribute the heat to other areas of your home. Keep a small space heater in the bathroom, which can heat up the room in seconds whenever it’s needed.
8) Add area rugs to hard-surface floors.
Some small, seasonal adjustments to home décor can make a big difference in warmth and comfort. Warm up hard-surface floors with plush area rugs in bright colors. Turn off the heat at night and use extra blankets or down comforters instead.
9) Replace windows or add insulation.
Replacing windows is a pretty big investment, but it’s one of the best you can make for your home and one that can be offset by a number of state and federal tax credits, as can adding insulation. Both of these projects are bigger investments with an even bigger long-term return, as energy bills are immediately reduced while home comfort instantly increases. Adding attic insulation alone can significantly improve your home’s ability to retain heat, as a majority of home heat escapes through the roof. High-quality windows and insulation also extend the life of your heating system by placing fewer demands on it in the first place.
Enjoy the cooler season while you heat your home and keep your family cozy with these tips. As always, call Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating if you need any help maintaining your home’s central heating system, improving your attic insulation levels, or upgrading to a more efficient furnace.