With winter fast approaching, many people are thinking about ways to not only keep the house warm but also save a few bucks while doing so.
Beyond just saving money, it’s simply not always easy to keep a home warm, especially if it’s older and doesn’t have proper insulation. Utilizing the tips below will not only help save you money, but they will also make sure you’re warm and comfortable all winter long.
1. Install a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat.
This will keep your bill low and your efficiency high. Instead of having to manually adjust your thermostat every time you leave the house or every time you come back home, we recommend programming your thermostat for the following temperatures and times during the week, assuming that your house is empty during the day. If you plan to go on vacation during the winter for more than a day, we recommend setting your thermostat to 55 degrees or ECO mode.
- 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. = 68 degrees
- 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 60 degrees
- 5:30 to 11 p.m. = 68 degrees
- 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 60 degrees
If the nighttime recommendation is a bit too cool for you, adjust to your comfort level. Keep in mind, though, that research has shown that cooler temperatures promote better sleep, and may even increase your metabolism.
2. Let the sunlight in during the day.
Once the sun comes up, you’ll want to capture as much of that free heat as possible. Even on very cold days, the sun can still help heat your home. Before you leave the house for the day, open up those curtains and let in that sunshine. If there are certain parts of the house that don’t get sunlight, no need to open those curtains. Just do so where it streams in for a good portion of the day.
3. Keep curtains closed at night.
Once the sun goes down, you’ll want to keep all that heat from leaving through the windows by closing the drapes. If you’re in an unusually cold home or geographic area, consider getting insulated curtains for winter use. They’ll prevent some of the warmth in your home from escaping. You can even put up temporary curtains (or even sheets, rugs, etc.) over doors to the outside, even if just at night while you’re sleeping.
4. Take a look at your ceiling fans.
If you have ceiling fans in your home, don’t let them sit needlessly dormant during the winter months. Many fans have a “winter” setting, which reverses the fan so that it moves clockwise vs. counterclockwise. Since heat rises, the clockwise-spinning fan will push the heat back down into your rooms versus being trapped up at the ceilings. This is especially recommended if you have high or sloped ceilings.
5. Move furniture away from vents.
You may have unknowingly placed furniture in front of heating vents when you moved in or rearranged. Go around the house and double-check that all of your vents aren’t blocked, and if they are, find a way to move your furniture, at least for the winter. This will make sure every room is getting its maximum heating potential. Blocking return vents in a forced-air central heating system could also cause air pressure issues, which will further disrupt the flow of heat.
6. Keep rooms toasty warm by closing doors.
If you spend a lot of time in certain rooms, you can close doors and create a little sauna. Simply leave the door closed at night, let the heat run like normal, and if there aren’t many gaps for heat to escape, it will be nice and warm in the morning.
You can also close doors to rooms that aren’t frequently used in your home – just make sure you also close the vents in those rooms. This sort of acts to lower the heated square footage, and the warm air will spread quicker and easier throughout the house. As a bonus, this will save a little bit on your heating bill, too.
7. Utilize space heaters, but please use them with caution.
Space heaters are excellent tools for keeping individual rooms warm. The danger is that they are a high-risk fire hazard, especially compared to other tips listed here. In fact, they account for one-third of all heating-related house fires.
To ensure the safety of your household, keep any flammable material at least three feet away, and make sure the heater is on an even and stable surface. Never leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave home. We recommend timed space heaters that turn off after 1-4 hours of operation. Additionally, it’s a good idea to only use space heaters that shut off automatically when tipped over.
8. Now is a great time to fire up the oven.
Baking, convecting, and broiling things will keep your house warmer, especially in rooms nearest to the kitchen. When the temperatures start to dip is a great time to bake a ham or try out all of those casseroles that you’ve been saving to your Pinterest board.
9. Add layers to your wood floors.
According to the National Energy Foundation, uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home’s heat loss. Carpets and rugs were created for a reason – to keep rooms warmer. They’re far better at trapping heat than your creaky wood floors. Add a rug or roll of carpet to your floor in the winter, and you’ll notice a difference in the coziness of your home.
10. Ultimately, keep the person warm versus the house.
It’s much easier to keep the person warm versus the entirety of the house. The house doesn’t care if it’s a little chilly, but you do care if you’re cold. It’s time to break out those sweaters, hoodies, and fuzzy socks! Get a warm robe, sip on hot coffee or tea. Don’t forget to change out your bedding from your summer sheets to your heavier winter sheets and blankets. Do whatever you need to do to stay warm and comfortable without blasting the heat all day. In all likelihood, you can probably handle the thermostat being a couple of degrees lower if you take some of the measures above.
Call Mr. Dan’s today to make sure that your home and heating unit are prepared to keep you warm this winter!