How to Stay Warmer and More Energy Efficient This Winter

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we have almost fully endured the frigid winter months that occupy our half of the Earth from December to March.  During this time, many home and business owners turn up the heat to create a more pleasant temperature for occupants to enjoy.  The increase in heat rises proportionate to energy consumption, and furthermore, overall cost.  This list of tips will serve as a guide for future energy management solutions when seeking to keep warm without the added expense of being energy inefficient.

Solar Power, and no, we aren’t referring to panels on your roof.  Rather, open curtains and blinds which allow natural sunlight to enter during the day. On the opposite end of the spectrum, ensure drafty windows and all seal leaks are covered.

Close the damper if you own a fireplace. Leaving this contraption open while not burning gas or wood will pull heat out of your home, resulting in higher energy bills.

Remove heat blockage by moving furniture, carpets, or drapes from the path of vents.  Also, be sure to dust or vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters, and furnace duct openings.

Replace heating system filters every few months.  This will not only improve energy efficiency from a smoother operating system, it will also give your air quality a boost.  Before heading to your local hardware store, refer to your system’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Invest in a pre-winter tune-up. This is a bit more expensive than replacing filters yourself but can yield large savings.  Taking it a step further, consider conducting an energy audit to evaluate how much energy your home or business consumes.

Consider improvements to home insulation.  If your home isn’t equipped with the proper insulation, excessive heat could be escaping straight through your walls.

Program your heating to be on only when needed.  A common misconception is that it is more affordable to leave the heat on low throughout the day, only to turn it up when arriving home.  If you’ve taken precautionary steps to ensure your property is insulated and sealed, experts at the Energy Saving Trust advocate for keeping the heat on only when the space will be occupied.  This can be easy by incorporating a smart thermostat energy management solution.

Considering we are quickly approaching spring, we included a few energy management solutions that can help you keep cool without suffering from a high-energy bill.

Service your air conditioner just as you would your heating system.  Check the maintenance schedule and arrange for an HVAC professional to perform a tune-up.

Cook outside.  On warmer days, cook outside to avoid heat from the kitchen to penetrate the cooler temperatures you’re created in your home.

Use ceiling fans to avoid turning up the central air in your home.  Additionally, be sure to turn bathroom fans on during the times that the shower or bath is running to remove excess heat and humidity.

Beth Spence