How to Save on Heating Costs this Winter
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As the temperature outside drops and heating bills soar, you may be looking for ways to save on heating costs this winter. The good news is that there are ways to save on heating costs without turning your home into an igloo; you just need to get creative.
Here are a few smart adjustments and mindful habits that can help keep your home warm this winter:
Dust your vents
Dust is a natural insulator, so having dusty vents can prevent warm air from heating your home. Occasionally removing and cleaning the covers of your heating vents or radiators can go a long way in making your home more energy efficient.
Lower your thermostat
You don’t have to set your thermostat to freezing in order to save on heating costs. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat around 68 degrees in the winter for maximum energy savings. A smart or programmable thermostat can do the job for you so you don’t have to remember to turn it down. Don’t overdo it, though. Drastically lowering your heat forces the thermostat to use more energy than you’ll save to get the temperature back up again. If you can’t sleep unless you’re snug and warm, you might want to invest in a heated blanket or a mattress pad to keep you warm on the coldest nights.
Turn on your ceiling fans
Most ceiling fans are equipped with a “summer” and “winter” setting. During the summer, blades should be moving in a counterclockwise direction to draw the cold air upward from the floor so it can cool the room. In the wintertime, you’ll want those blades to move clockwise so the hot air, which naturally rises towards the ceiling, can be blown downward and warm up the room.
Use zone heating
If you live in a large home with more rooms than you regularly use, keep the lesser-used areas just warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing. You can close some of the vents in these rooms and shut the door to keep that heat in.
On the flip side, be sure to open the doors of the rooms that see heavy use so the hot air can flow evenly throughout the house. Some rooms are naturally warmer than others, and you want your unit to heat your entire home as efficiently as possible.
Rearrange your furniture
Take a quick tour of your home to check if you have any furniture situated near your heating vents. You don’t want to be paying all that money just for hot air to flow into the underside of your living room sofa.
You may also want to rearrange your furniture in the wintertime for another reason: No matter how well you seal your windows and doors, the perimeters of rooms are almost always colder than the interiors during the winter. If your favorite armchair is near a drafty window, you’ll feel that cold air blowing in whenever you sit down. Consider rearranging your furniture for the winter so your favorite pieces are in the warmest areas of each room.
Let the sunshine in
The low-in-the-sky winter sun can give you hours of free solar heat each day — if you let it in. Be sure to open the curtains in the early morning hours and close them at night to keep that warm air inside. You may also want to swap your curtains for thicker, insulated ones in the winter for further protection against the cold night air.
Humidify your air
Consider investing in a humidifier for the winter. Moisture helps to hold onto heat and will keep the air warmer for longer.
By following these cost-effective tips, you can save on heating costs this winter without breaking your budget. If you’d like more tips on preparing your home for the winter season, check out our blog on how to winterize your home.