How Do I Conserve Heat During the Winter?
Are you looking for techniques to reduce your heating bill? If yes, you are far from being the only one with such a predicament. According to HomeAdvisor, the average annual heating bill for Americans is $1,500. Although you cannot control oil prices, you can enhance your home’s energy efficiency by managing your usage. Thankfully, there are lots of low-cost energy conservation tips to prevent heat loss. Whether you are looking for small steps to make your home warmer or you would like to refurbish it all together, here is what you can do to make it energy efficient.
1. Lower the Thermostat
Most people have gotten used to staying in warm homes over the years. That is why they end up spending too much money to keep their houses at unnecessarily high temperatures during winter. Consider setting the temperature to 68 degrees during the day and lowering it to 60 degrees at night. If you feel too cold, you can supplement with extra blankets.
Switching off your heater when no one is at home over the weekend or during the day will help you save loads of cash. If you are forgetful, you can install a smart thermostat, and it will do the job for you. Customize the thermostat to start warming up your house 30 minutes before getting home to make the space toasty. The savings you make are enough to break even on your smart thermostat investment within the first year.
2. Change Your Day-to-Day Habits
Sometimes minimizing your energy consumption during winter doesn’t involve the purchase of expensive products. Energy conservation can be as straightforward as turning off home appliances and switches when you don’t need them. You can also avoid using energy-intensive devices by performing the tasks manually when possible. For instance, you can wash dishes by hand during your free time.
Adjusting your behavior has a huge potential for utility savings. Heating and cooling expenses take up for half of an average home’s utility costs. Therefore, these seemingly small actions will have a ripple effect on your savings. You can use phone apps and other tools to monitor your energy expenditure.
3. Service the Furnace
When it comes to lowering your utility expenditures, sometimes you have to spend to save. Residents in Burbank and the surrounding areas can increase their furnaces’ efficiency by hiring a professional to inspect the appliance once a year. That way, you can catch problems early before they force you to spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily.
Consider changing the HVAC filters at the beginning of the season or at least once a month during winter. Not only will this tip improve your indoor air quality, but it will also keep it running smoothly. Get rid of obstructions like furniture and tables that are close to vents which prevent airflow throughout the room.
4. Reduce Heat Loss From the Fireplace
You can use your fireplace to supplement your HVAC system. Consider these tips to improve its efficiency:
- Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.
- Plug and seal the chimney flue when it’s not in use.
- Keep the damper open only when a fire is burning.
- Open the nearest window slightly on the lower dampers when using the damper.
- Install tempered glass doors and a heat air exchange system to blow warm air into the roo.
- Confirm that the flue damper is as snug as possible.
- Use grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to enhance air circulation.
5. Install Energy Efficient Windows
Inefficient windows can escalate your heating bill by 10-25%. Consider replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows to prevent heat loss. You may also install gas-filled windows with Low-E coatings to keep your home warm if you live in cold regions. Interior and exterior storm windows can also minimize unnecessary heat loss by at least 10%. They are critical in areas experiencing extreme weather events.
Depending on where you reside, Energy Star windows can save a significant amount of money on your energy bills. Window shades, awnings, screens, and shutters can also provide an extra insulation layer between your home and the outdoor temperatures. That way, you will conserve energy further.
6. Locate and Seal Leaks
Sealing air leaks is a viable strategy for reducing your heating expenses. Windows, doors, and vents are the most significant air leak culprits. You should ensure that there aren’t any openings or cracks between the wall and window, doorframe, and vents. Air can also leak into your home through gaps in the ceiling, floor, and wall from electrical wiring, plumbing, and ducting.
You can apply caulk when sealing air leaks between stationary objects like the wall and window frame. For cracks between moving fixtures like doors and windows, consider using weather stripping. The two weatherizing methods are simple, and you will get a return on your investment within a year.
7. Consider Alternative Heating Methods
Although it seems like using a concentrated space heater in your bedroom is better than using the furnace, it’s a bad idea. A space heater is like a toaster and uses heat strips. Also, minimize your usage of the fireplace because it is relatively inefficient.
If you are unaware of your power usage, consider getting an energy audit. Many utility companies offer audits for free or at a small fee. The technician can review your appliances for energy efficiency. They will also provide you some strategies for improving your home’s energy efficiency.
8. Assess Your Heating Zones
Which rooms do you reside mostly in? Label your rooms based on how much time you spend there. If you have a second or third heating zone, consider setting the heating level different from the first heating zones. Lower the temperature rating of your HVAC in the areas you don’t frequent often. Keep doors shut to preserve warmth in rooms you need instead of allowing it to disperse into unused space.
9. Insulate Your Home
Your house is like an envelope, so insulating it plays a crucial role in retaining heat during winter. The recommended heat resistance rating or R-value for your insulation differs depending on your location. In warmer climates, the ideal R-value is lower than for those residing in cold regions.
The insulation level to consider will depend on the location of your home. The attic, basement, floors, walls, and crawlspace are the five major areas to consider when adding insulation. If you are unsure, consider hiring an expert to guide you.
Do you like the comfort of a warm and cozy home without spending a fortune on heating costs? If you reside in Burbank and the surrounding areas, Air Max HVAC, Inc can help. We will service your furnace or repair your HVAC system to enhance its efficiency. We also install furnaces and air conditioning units. Contact us today, and we will advise you on how to conserve heat in your home during winter. We are waiting for your call.Tags: Conserve Heat, Winter, Winter Season