Keeping your house warm in the winter without watching your heating bill go through the roof is a task that nearly everyone can relate to. We often forget that a few small, everyday tasks can contribute to a lower bill each month. Here are a few common sense reminders for how to keep your bill as low and your house as warm as possible during the winter months.
1. Open your curtains and shades. Let a little light in! Remember, on a sunny day, nature can handle a little of the work of warming your home. Get up early, and let the sun permeate your house throughout the day while you’re at work. Remember to close them again at night, when the temperature will drop.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans have a setting specially designated for the winter months. The switch will reverse the direction that the fan blades move in, causing the cool air to rise, and the warm air to fall-like pennies into your pocket. Again, you will want to be sure to remember to switch your fan back to the regular setting when the temperature changes.
3. Move your furniture away from vents. Heating vents may seem unsightly, or bothersome when thinking about the layout of your rooms and furniture. However, with a little energy-focused redecorating, you may find that one of the secrets to heating your home more efficiently lies in the arrangement of your furniture. Give floor and wall vents plenty of room to push the air out into the home without any obstacles to hinder its work.
4. Cover your hard floors. Where you don’t have floor vents, rugs can work to both store heat by preventing warm air from escaping through the floorboards. It can also make your wood or tile floors feel warmer to your feet. Just as a pair of socks will keep your toes nice and cozy, so will a few smartly placed rugs.
5. Programmable thermostats. Programmable thermostats are designed to make your central heating work more efficiently while your home and when you’re away. For a small installation fee, you can lower your energy bill considerably each month by lowering the temperature of your home while you’re away. Keep it just warm enough while you’re at work to make your pets happy. It will also feel inviting when you get home, and you can raise it to a more comfortable temperature while you’re at home.
6. Seal air leaks around your home. The great thing about this energy-saving tip is that it will make your home more efficient year-round, not just in the winter months. Some may want to invest in a professional to help detect where large leaks are causing heat and cool air loss, but many leaks can be spotted visually. Leaks usually occur in places where siding, foundation, and chimneys meet floors or other surfaces. A caulk gun and caulk are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to use. Make sure to clean all your surfaces before you caulk, and enjoy your savings!