From snow showers to blustery winds, keeping your home warm throughout the winter can be challenging, but small changes can have a significant impact on your energy usage. As the temperature drops outside, follow these tips for staying warm and cozy while saving energy.
Let the Sun in During the Day
The sun is a fantastic source of free heat. By opening your curtains and blinds during the daytime, you take advantage of the greenhouse effect and allow the sun to heat your home naturally.
Close the Curtains at Night
Unfortunately, windows can also be a source of heat loss, as they are not as well insulated as your walls. Therefore, close your curtains and blinds when the sun goes down to prevent cold chills from cooling your home. Also, consider purchasing insulated curtains to maximize the energy efficiency of your windows.
Don't Block Air Vents.
Keep supply and return air vents clear of furniture and appliances so your HVAC system can work more efficiently.
Eliminate Air Leaks and Drafts
Air sealing your home is simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive. Use caulk for cracks and openings between stationary objects like door and window frames. You can use weather stripping around anything that moves, like the door itself or window sashes.
Switch your Ceiling Fan's Blade Rotation.
Hot air rises, so reverse your fan's blades to a clockwise rotation to help push that warmth right back down to you.
Try a Humidifier for Extra Heat.
Adding a humidifier to your heating system may allow you to turn your thermostat down and be comfortable at lower temperatures.
Close Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms
If you have a room in your house that people rarely enter, you're wasting valuable energy heating it in the wintertime. Instead, close off all vents in the room and shut all doors. This will prevent you from paying to heat uninhabited space.
Use Rugs on the Floor.
Warm air tends to move closer to the ceiling and doesn't circulate much at floor level. Rugs can help insulate the floor and make walking a lot more comfortable.
Install Energy-Saving Technology
We rely heavily on electrical lighting during the long, dark winter nights. Help conserve energy by installing automatic timers, motion sensors, and dimmers at your house.
Close the Garage Door to Trap Heat
Don't forget to keep the garage door tightly closed as often as possible during the winter months. In doing so, you'll retain warmer air against the garage-side wall of the house, and it will act as a buffer against the colder outdoor air.
Turn Down the Water Heater.
Set your water heater to normal (120 degrees Fahrenheit) to help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water for sinks and showers.
Use your thick comforters while sleeping so you can lower the thermostat at night.
Turn off the Exhaust
Try to avoid using the exhaust fans when not necessary. Exhaust fans tend to be on the ceiling where most of the warmer air in your home rises and can remove all the warm air from that room.
Change your Filters.
A dirty filter will restrict the flow of air, and that can cause your HVAC system to work overtime, which could create unnecessary costs to your monthly energy bills.
Choose LED Lights for Your Home and Decorations
If you're planning an elaborate light show this holiday season, consider using LED lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient lighting option currently available. They use 75% less energy than standard incandescent lights and last 25 times longer. LED Lighting | Department of Energy