5 Tips to Keep Your Home Warm Without Breaking the Bank
When the cold days of winter arrive, you will pull out all the stops to stay warm. Outdoors, it is all about thick sweaters, toques, puffy jackets and hot coffee. But when you get home, you want to be comfortable and wear light clothes inside. But that can only happen if your home is warm and free from cold drafts from getting in. The good thing is you do not have to break the bank to keep your home warm. Follow these practical low-cost tips to keep your home warm:
1. Check Your Furnace
Adhere to a regular maintenance schedule for your furnace that is in line with the manufacturer’s specific recommendations for your model. Poorly maintained furnace systems are unsafe, run inefficiently and consume a lot of energy. They are also more prone to unexpected breakdowns and have a shorter lifespan.
Furnace maintenance should include cleaning, parts repair and parts replacement, if necessary. If you are unsure of what you need to, check out this brief but useful guide.
2. Seal the Gaps
Regularly inspect your doors and windows for any leaks where cold air could seep through. A house may seem like a solid, static structure. However, tiny movements and shifts, as well as the opening and closing of doors and windows could introduce gaps that allow cold air inside.
If you have any ducts or pipes moving over or through an exterior wall, use weather stripping and caulking at all entry points. If your house has a fireplace, confirm that there is no cold air coming in. The damper should remain closed whenever it is not in use.
3. Get a Smart Thermostat
An incorrectly calibrated thermostat can make your furnace system fail to run as well as it should. You can always correct the calibration, but it may be a better idea to get a smart or programmable thermostat.
A smart thermostat will cost more than a regular thermostat, but the energy savings makes it more than worth it. The thermostat will optimize your temperature settings based on your habits and preferences. Usually, it is optimal to keep your thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree Fahrenheit temperature range all day for best results.
4. Reverse Fan Rotation
If you have a ceiling fan with a winter setting, use it to rotate the blades clockwise in the winter months. Clockwise or counterclockwise fan rotation may seem like a minor tweak but it all comes down to the behavior of warmer air.
A clockwise rotation redistributes air via an updraft that causes warm air to descend in the room, thereby displacing cooler air upward. This feature can be surprisingly effective and will ensure your heating systems expend less energy than they otherwise would.
5. Targeted or Area-Specific Heating
You do not spend the same amount of time in each room of the home. You likely visit the bathroom for less than an hour in total over an entire day. On the other hand, chances are you spend plenty of hours in the living room and bedroom. You can save a lot on heating costs by target heating the rooms you spend most time in. Deploy space heaters in these rooms.
Of course, the cold air in the other rooms could make its way to the warmer room each time you open a door. But even with this heat loss, the efficiency gains of targeted heating are tangible.
No Choosing Between Cold and Budget
You should not have to choose between heating your home during the winter and saving money. The good thing is your home likely already has nearly everything you need to be warm during the cold season. Apply these tips to keep the cold away from your indoor spaces without jeopardizing your financial security.