Winter Heating Efficiency Tips

A woman setting the thermostat to efficiently heat her home.

Home heating costs can quickly skyrocket during the winter. Perhaps you have puzzled over the utility bill, trying to figure out how to keep costs down. Fortunately, there are easy and affordable ways to make the most of the warmth in your home. Before you crank up the thermostat settings, try these 12 tips for efficiently heating your home during winter.

Enjoy natural light

South-facing windows receive an abundance of sunshine and can warm up any room with the benefits of natural light. Open your blinds and curtains on bright sunny days to let in natural light. The natural light will boost your mood during those long winter months when gloom can take over. Make sure to close your curtains and blinds at night to keep your home warm and insulated.

Lower the heat during the day

Lower the thermostat when you leave for the day, even if it’s just by a few degrees. That will prevent your home from getting too much heat when you’re away. Use a smart or programmable thermostat to set a schedule for your heat to turn on during optimal times.

Lower the thermostat at night

With warm bedding, you can stay cozy in the winter and still enjoy a good night’s sleep. Lower the temperature by 10-15 degrees at night before bed to get a warm and restful sleep while reducing your energy costs.

Close doors and vents in unused spaces

If you have rooms in your home that you don’t use often, keep the vents and doors closed during the day to reduce unused heat. Save the heat for the rooms you use frequently. For example, it may make sense to close the doors and vents in unoccupied guest bedrooms. There is no need to heat the entire house when you can funnel the energy into specific spaces.

Bundle up

Warm sweaters and wool socks are cozier and more cost-efficient than cranking your thermostat up a few degrees. Throw on an extra layer and tuck yourself in under a thick blanket before you raise the thermostat.

Prevent cold drafts

Cold, frigid air can creep in throughout your home while the heat seeps out. Inspect for areas where cold air is leaking in. Insulate exterior doors, windows, and gaps in the walls or ceiling. Seal these areas with caulk or weatherstrips to trap the heat and prevent cold air from leaking inside. Cover windows with clear plastic sheeting to boost their insulation.

Reduce heat loss from the fireplace

When there isn’t a fire going in the fireplace, keep the damper closed to prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney. If you don’t use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. Inspect the seal on the fireplace and flue damper to make sure it’s closed tightly. Use C-shaped metal grates to draw cool air from the room into the fireplace and disperse warm air back into the room.

Adjust the water heater temperature

Water heaters use a lot of energy to heat water and keep it at that temperature even when you’re not using any water. It’s common for homeowners to have the temperature set too high. Check your water heater temperature and keep it at 120°F to maintain a comfortable water temperature.

Insulate your attic

Heat rises, and if you have an attic, the heat will rise straight up to this easily neglected space in your home. Check it for leaks and drafts, and repair or replace insulation as needed.

Use your ceiling fan

Ceiling fans don’t just keep you cool during the summer. They can also keep you warm during the winter. When ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, they push air down, creating that cool air effect. You can also set them to turn clockwise, which creates an updraft and circulates warm air around the room.

Use LED lights

While LED lights emit very little heat, they are worth mentioning when it comes to overall utility costs. LED lights use less electricity than traditional bulbs, and they last longer. Use them for overhead and table lighting and with your holiday decorations. Although you may have to spend money purchasing new lights, they are a great, long-term investment for your home. This is an energy-efficient way to keep your house bright during dreary days.

Get a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat connects to your wi-fi and automatically adjusts the temperature in your home for the best efficiency. You can control the temperature remotely and adjust it even when you’re not home. They are more efficient, cost-effective, and sophisticated than more traditional thermostats.

You don’t have to break the bank to keep the winter elements out and the warm air inside. Take these steps to get the most out of your home’s heating system and keep it toasty!

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