As the weather starts to cool off, family gatherings quickly migrate from the back deck to the kitchen table, and ocean-side evenings are swapped for afternoons around the fireplace. A warm and comfy home is an integral part of creating that fall atmosphere we long for during the humid days of July; and now that it’s here, don’t let it slip through the cracks (literally).
Warming your home can be an expensive feat if you don’t prepare properly. Cozy up to these tips to keep your heat and your money where it belongs – with you.
Inspect: Be sure to check the filters in your hot air heating system monthly and replace or clean them via a licensed professional when they become dirty. It’s also important to have boilers and radiators inspected to ensure they are leak-free and working properly. However, this can be a pricey endeavor. Qualified families are encouraged to submit an application for assistance with this cost through New York State’s Heating Equipment Tune-Up benefit. Households can receive up to $400 towards heating equipment cleaning, often including chimney cleaning, minor repairs, and more.
Insulate: Insulating walls, ceilings, floors, hot air ducts, and hot water pipes can reduce the cost of heat significantly.
Moisturize: Dry air always feels cooler than moist air – try a humidifier to lower your thermostat setting and create a comfortable temperature for your home.
Program: A programmable thermostat can automatically raise and lower the temperature in your home, depending on personal preference. Homeowners can save up to 18 percent on their yearly heating and cooling costs by properly setting and maintaining their programmable thermostats.
Unplug: Portable electric heaters can be costly to operate, and dangerous if left on for long periods of time – opt for alternative methods of heating to save money and keep your family safe.
Seal: Storm windows and doors are another simple, eco-and-wallet-friendly way to save money on heating this winter, reducing heating costs by as much as 15 percent. Try double-glazing and thermopaning windows to minimize heat escape. Also try weather-stripping and caulking for cracks in walls and floors to keep the heat in.
Open: Draw back curtains and let the sun in! Not only will it make for a cozier room, but sunlight provides additional free and natural warmth.
Close: Closing doors in unused rooms allows for heat to circulate in a smaller space, thus warming a room faster. It also stops air from circulating as frequently, which helps reduce heat loss.
Lay: Using area rugs and carpets not only helps prevent heat loss through the floor, but is warmer to the touch than wood or stone.
Switch: Change the direction of your ceiling fan seasonally. By setting it counterclockwise in the cooler months at a slower speed, you can drive warm air down and force cold air to rise.
For more tips on how to stay warm, and save money and energy this fall, check out our energy efficiency tips here