Keeping your family warm and cozy in the winter doesn’t mean you need to crank up the thermostat. There are a number of things you can do to keep your home and family warm besides depending on your furnace to do all the work. Doing what you can to improve your home’s efficiency goes a long way towards cutting your energy costs while keeping your home warm.
Why bother? Isn’t the furnace the primary source of winter heat?
Your furnace is the primary source of winter heat, but it requires a lot of energy to keep your home warm. In fact, heating your home can account for up to 70 percent of your household energy consumption. Helping the furnace out with some simple techniques will put more money in your pocket and will make your family feel more comfortable too. Try these tips for reducing your energy costs without sacrificing comfort.
- Seal windows and doors to prevent cold drafts and reduce heat loss. Inexpensive weather stripping around doors and new caulking around windows and door frames can make a big difference in how warm your home feels and will give your furnace a break too.
- Use window treatments wisely. Insulated drapes are a must, but you don’t need to stop there. Get in the habit of opening the drapes on sunny days to take advantage of the heat from the sun, but remember to close them as soon as the sun goes down. Other options include covering your windows with bubble wrap to prevent heat loss through the window panes. Bubble wrap will allow sunlight to enter the room while preventing warm air from escaping.
- Insulate attics and walls to reduce heat loss. Make sure to check crawl spaces and other unused areas as they are often responsible for cold drafts and heat loss. Investing in more insulation now will help save money on your heating bill and will make your home feel warmer without raising the thermostat.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save on energy costs. Set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees cooler during the hours when you are away from home and bump it back up a half hour before you are due to arrive back home. This can save you up to 10 percent on your heating bill this year. Likewise, setting the temperature back while you sleep is a great way to save on energy costs, but beware of turning it back too low. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleeping varies among individuals. Temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19.44 °C) are ideal for most people and will improve the quality of your sleep. Temperatures either higher or lower may compromise your sleep.
- Dress warmly. Don’t expect to wear your summer attire during the cold winter months. Wear warm socks or slippers and throw on a sweater or sweatshirt to keep warm. During winter evenings or chilly winter days, a cozy throw or blanket on the couch encourages snuggling and keeps everyone warmer.
Making sure your furnace is performing at its peak is also important. Talk to Buckeye Heating & Cooling to get a free estimate and make sure your heater is performing at its best this winter.