Check Out These Heating Tips to Keep Your House Toasty This Winter
This winter, it may not be the brisk weather that sends a chill up your spine, but the thought of paying for heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately half of all housing-related energy expenses are dedicated to heating your home, and this jumps during the winter months. With the average household spending between $700 and $1,700 per year on heat alone, even a 10 percent reduction could result in some noticeable cash savings. Throw on a sweater and snuggle up as we go through the best home heating tips to keep you cozy this winter.
Know where you’re losing heat
Before you can figure out how best to reduce your heating costs, know where heat is leaving your home. The Washington Post explained that some of the biggest home heat loss issues are from the ceilings, walls, floors, windows, and doors. That’s a lot of areas to cover, but thankfully there are low-cost solutions that can make an immediate impact on your heating bill.
Batten down your windows and doors
Start your heating hacks by sealing the interior and exterior of windows with silicone caulking to block airflow from around the window frames. Install or replace old weatherstripping on the bottoms of doors, sliders, and windows. At night, you should close your curtains or use insulated blinds or shutters to keep heat from escaping. During the day, open your curtains to reap the benefits of the sun. Keep windows and doors locked to ensure they’re pulled tightly into the frames, which reduces airflow and minimizes drafts. If possible, install storm windows over older, single-pane glass, or install window film to the interior of drafty windows. Remove window air conditioners for the winter, or seal around them if you can’t take them out.
Inspect your walls and pipes
Try this: Hold a piece of paper in front of light switches and outlets. If the paper blows in the breeze, install foam receptacle insulators that will limit airflow from these pesky spots. Caulk or use expanding foam to seal around any pipes, wires, or duct work that runs through exterior walls. Insulate around water pipes and drains in the kitchen and bathrooms. Wrap hot water pipes with insulated covers to reduce the energy used for your hot water tank.
Protect your floors and ceilings
Insulate your attic hatch and install weatherstripping around the opening. You should also add extra insulation to your attic and walls. These spots can be big culprits of letting heat out of your home, so don’t forget to seal them before the temperature starts dropping.
Prevent any furnace issues
Seal the joints and corners of an accessible duct work with foil tape to ensure the heat in your ducts isn’t dissipating along the route to your register vents. It’s best to keep vents clear or install an air deflector to ensure heat is directed from underneath furniture or other obstacles. You may want to upgrade your thermostat to a programmable unit, and turn the temperature down a few degrees while out of the house for instant savings. Smart thermostats are available to control your temperature remotely for maximum savings no matter where you are. Change your furnace filter, as old filters restrict airflow and make your furnace work harder to be effective. Consider replacing an outdated furnace with a high-efficiency model, or have a professional work on the furnace each year to keep it in tip-top shape.
Other great tips to keep the home warm
If you have a fireplace, close the flue when it’s not being used. You can also keep doors inside the home open to promote airflow between rooms. Lastly, shut off exhaust fans in the laundry room or bathrooms once you’re done with them to ensure they aren’t blowing warm air out of your home.
By taking an afternoon to implement some of the low-cost heating tips listed above, you can reduce your heating bill for years to come — and those are savings that can take the sting out of even the coldest winter day.