For most people, utilities are the third most expensive bill, after rent and food. Unlike summer, when you can do a lot to avoid putting on the air at all, the bitter winter months leave us with no option but to run the heat, at least some of the time. If you are like most people, you are probably spending more than you have to, and with some small tweaks, you can make a nice dent in your energy use, and less of a dent in your wallet.
We all know the power of the sun in heating the earth, but we tend to forget how much we can utilize it to heat our houses. During the day, open the south-facing windows to let in max sun, which cuts down on the need to heat. Keep all that heat in by closing window coverings in the evenings.
You might not think much of ceiling fans during the winter months, but they are a great asset for keeping heating costs down. Good air circulation enhances energy efficiency. The direction of the blades is the key to optimizing heating and cooling. During the winter, clockwise air flow will help keep heat inside the room by pushing the hot air down. Keep the fan on a low setting to gently push the air down—too high and it might feel a bit uncomfortable.
Lowering your heat in the evening by 10 to 15 degrees can net you a 10 percent savings on your energy bill. Some flannel sheets and a nice heavy comforter can surely compensate. There are many different kinds of thermometers that help you be more energy-efficient. A programmable thermostat can be your best friend when it comes to energy efficiency. You can set it in a variety of ways, such as a Monday through Friday schedule, weekends, etc…
Heat Only Rooms that You are Using
Close and seal off vents in areas that you are not using to maximize energy efficiency be directing the air flow to the rooms that actually need heating. You can save a nice chunk of change as well by turning down the thermostat to 62 and using a space heater.
Shoddy furnace maintenance is a major contributor to higher heating bills. When it is not properly maintained, it has to work harder to do its job, and the harder it works, the more energy it expends. Make sure it is clean and without blockages. Check the vents and replace the filter monthly.
Add Moisture to the Air with a Humidifier
As we know from the sticky summer months, humidity really makes it feel much hotter than it is, and just holds that heat in. Use this to your advantage in the winter months. A humidifier moistens the air, allowing it to hold heat better. This means being able to lower the thermostat while still feeling nice and toasty. House plants are another way to increase humidity in the home.