With Thanksgiving around the corner, and December holidays on its heels, home prep is top of mind for many of our customers. But in between the decorative tablescapes, front door wreathes and other garnishes, are equally important (albeit slightly less pretty) home projects for the upcoming colder months.
Stay snug and save money with these 10 tips and tricks to keep your home as warm as your heart during the holidays and through the winter.
- Remember to use the “whole house” approach. Whether you have a fan for forced-hot air systems, or a circulator for hot water units, all homes need electricity to run heat in some capacity. Combine proper equipment and maintenance–like an energy-efficient furnace–with insulation for best results.
- Use insulation. Insulating walls, ceilings, floors, hot air ducts, and hot water pipes can reduce the cost of heat significantly.
- Invest in a humidifier. Dry air makes you feel colder than moist air. By maintaining home humidity, you’ll experience personal comfort at a lower thermostat setting, thus saving money and energy.
- Clean your filters. By checking and cleaning the filters in your forced-hot air heating system monthly, air will be able to flow with less strain on your system, decreasing the amount of energy needed.
- Weatherstrip the cracks. Caulking and weather-stripping cracks in walls and floors, windows and doors will keep the warm air in, and save you money.
- Seal whatever you can’t weatherstrip: Storm windows and doors are another quick and easy way to reducing heating costs. By sealing the cracks, you can save as much as 15 percent on your energy bills during the winter. Try double-glazing and thermopaning windows to minimize heat escape.
- Close your doors. 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.
- Rotate your ceiling fan. 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.
- Consider a programmable thermostat. These thermostats will automatically raise and lower the temperature in your home according to your lifestyle. Homeowners can save up to eighteen percent on their yearly heating and cooling costs by properly setting and maintaining their programmable thermostats.
- Use space heaters as a last resort. 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.